(OPE-L) Re: taxation and public finance in Marxian literature

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 06:40:03 EDT

Hi Ernesto.

>  In the Manifesto  Marx and Engels also proposed a fiscal 
> policy based on  "a heavy progressive or graduated income tax". 
> Both measures are envisaged as part of a process of building of 
> a communist society. 

Right.  But, so long as capitalist relations of production prevail, what
is the impact of a heavily progressive income tax on the accumulation
of capital?

> It is interesting to note that Engels interpreted progressive taxation 
> as embodying the principle "from each according to his ability". 
> On the other hand, the public provision of goods at low or zero 
> price allocates resources on the ground of the principle "to each 
> according to his needs".

Perhaps M and/or E miscalculated about _which_ demands can only
be realized after a workers' revolution?  In the _Communist Manifesto_, 
free public education for children was also a policy change proposed
after the insurrection, yet (despite recent neo-con efforts at privatization
of the school system, e.g. in India) this demand was already realized 
in most capitalist social formations long ago.  

In solidarity, Jerry

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