Cover: Untangling the Income Tax, from Harvard University PressCover: Untangling the Income Tax in E-DITION

Untangling the Income Tax

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674733930

Publication Date: 01/01/1986

386 pages

Illustrated

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

Tax reform is perennially under discussion, always a red hot political topic. Many people have the uneasy feeling that they are being taxed unfairly, and the complexity of the laws, plus newspaper articles on millionaires who cleverly avoid paying taxes, are likely to confirm these suspicions. But any moves toward reform are handicapped because almost nobody really understands how the income tax works, let alone what might be gained by trying alternative systems.

In this highly readable new book, one of America’s foremost tax economists helps the reader develop a sound grasp of how the design of tax rules affects the real sharing of tax burdens, and the performance of the economy as a whole. He also outlines various reform proposals, and shows how they would change the way money now moves out of the taxpayer’s pocket and into government coffers.

David F. Bradford’s central theme is the choice between a tax based on the notion of income, as tax theorists understand the term, and one based on consumption. In fact, our so-called income tax is a mixture of consumption- and income-based systems, and as such is less effective than either purer approach might be. Bradford examines in depth the idea of income, emphasizing the value judgments to be made in defining it for tax purposes, and explains why some existing tax rules are better suited to implementing tax on consumption—as, for example, the way pensions and owner-occupied houses (the bulk of savings for most Americans) are treated by the tax code.

He shows in non-technical terms how the burden of taxes is actually borne (as opposed to who mails in the money), and shows how taxes impose costs beyond the amount sent to the government. Finally, he suggests ways in which the income tax system might be changed in the interest of fairness, efficiency, and simplicity.

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene