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

From: Ernesto Screpanti (screpanti@UNISI.IT)
Date: Wed May 19 2004 - 03:11:17 EDT

At 06.40 13/05/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>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?

I do not precisely know. But I do not think it would dramatically impair it.

> > 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.

Yes. My opinion is that it was realized as a consequence of the workers
struggles, "the real movement that abolishes the present state of things"

>In solidarity,


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