(OPE-L) Re: taxation and public finance

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Wed May 19 2004 - 07:17:53 EDT

Hi again Ernesto.

Previously I asked:

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

You replied:

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

It might depend on just _how_ heavily progressive the income tax is.  
E.g. (supposing also that tax holidays, subsidies, and loopholes
for corporations and investors are also closed) , a _very_ heavy
income tax (e.g. an effective tax rate of 95% for the top 10%
income earners) would mean that there would be dramatically
less funds available for investment in c and v and hence there
would be de-accumulation of capital -- even though demand by
working-class families for consumption goods might well be
increasing.   *Of course*,  this couldn't happen without workers' 
struggles *and* capital has some options (since after all there are 
nation-states with sovereignty which develop their own tax and public 
finance policies) including a "capital strike" and  re-locating where the 
"investment climate" is better. And there are more ominous bourgeois 
options as well, e.g. a coup d' etat and the re-emergence of fascism 
as a means of  overcoming a state-imposed policy that violates the 
best interests of the bourgeoisie.  To prevent this from happening, the 
working-class might have to organize their own armed militias (recall
this week's news from Venezuela).  This suggests that if the tax is  
heavy enough then the class struggle would become (non-metaphorically) 
an actual class _war_.  Such a circumstance might coincide with what 
Lenin and Trotsky called "dual power" and probably wouldn't last too long
since one side or the other would succeed in forcibly imposing its will.

In solidarity, Jerry

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