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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Who and What should be taxed?

Who and What should be taxed?

What is it that is taxed and why, when a State has abandoned and lost its own natural possession—the Land? The State is the organisation which is to hold together society on principles of Justice and Right. Giving great and precious advantages, it demands honor and pecuniary support: honor from all—property from those who have any surplus.

The State is not intended as an engine of oppression to the weak; it cannot (wilfully and knowingly) tax those families which barely can feed themselves. Hence no taxes can be intended to fall on sinews, bone, and breath, as such; but on Property, as such.

The moment this is conceded it follows that the more property a man has to spare, the more fit a subject for taxation page 76 he is, and the higher the percentage which may justly be taken from his surplus. I cannot understand the tone assumed by some writers on this subject, who call it robbery and spoliation to tax greater wealth at a greater percentage. My belief is that this is intrinsically just, and would tend to remove the odium attached to great wealth by the vulgar.

(Professor Newman.)