Saturday, May 7, 2011

Noahpinion on Public Goods

One explanation of why the narrative on taxation has become toxic in the United States:

Well, I think conservatives (and not a few liberals!) have really fallen into the rut of thinking that all government spending = redistribution. Part of this may be a simple failure to recognize that America's gravy days are over, and that arresting the rapid shrinkage of our national pie is more important than squabbling over who gets which slice.

I think that this insight is entirely correct. Without public goods, a country inherently weakens (imagine no roads, rule of law or sewage). That being said, I do think that redistribution is also an important function of taxation. High income individuals gain a lot from a fully functional society and it is not unreasonable to share the benefits with other members of the society.

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