(OPE-L) another bit about taxation

From: OPE-L Administrator (ope-admin@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Date: Mon May 31 2004 - 16:07:58 EDT

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: another bit about taxation
From: "Jurriaan Bendien" <andromeda246@hetnet.nl>
Date: Mon, May 31, 2004 2:28 pm

While I think of it. In his Marxian treatise about  the anatomy of the
bourgeois state ("Kapitalisme en burgerlijke staat", 1978), the Dutch
politicologist Dr. Siep Stuurman provided some figures for the value of
the total government taxation levy, as a percentage of of Dutch GDP,
drawn from various sources, a series to which I can add the Forbes
estimate for 2002:

In 1850: 4%
In 1910: 10%
In the 1930s: fluctuates around 20%
In the 1960s: exceeds 30%
In 2002: 39.3% (this compares with 28.5% for the USA)

As you can see, in Marx's lifetime, total taxation just wasn't so
significant. Within the space of one and a half centuries, however, the
total tax take increased ten times. The peculiar thing though in
Stuurman's book, which I regard as a useful work, is that he barely
discusses the collection and expenditure of tax money at all, as a state
function. And this is typical of the Marxian literature, with some
honorable exceptions (such as Ian Gough).  Stuurman was obviously
inspired by Althusser's reference to "ideological and repressive state
apparatuses" in his analysis, but completely misses out the collection
and dispensation of tax funds, even although Marx himself, as I
previously quoted, considered that "Taxes are the existence of the state
expressed in economic terms", and was well aware that the taxation
regime was a source of political-economic conflicts and strategies. But
how can you really understand very much about the capitalist state,
without understanding about taxation ?

(Stuurman has just come about with another book which is also
9?action=engscheda&ean=978067401185 ). This is a book about François
Poulain de la Barre, an advocate of equality between men and women in
the 17th century, accused of socianism (the denial of the existence of
the Holy Trinity). Stuurman is nowadays an acknowledged specialist in
the history of feminism.


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