Sunday, November 4, 2012
Erik Nelson (J.D. 2012, Lewis & Clark), Comment, Two Stories of Taxation of Capital, 16 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1049 (2012):
The discussion on whether and to what to degree to tax wealth and capital in the United States is as old as the country itself. This Comment analyzes the debate and its history through the lenses of two different general theories of property. The first is a Lockean ideal of the sanctity of private property and capital. The second focuses on the role of the community in the creation of capital and the ramifications that it has for taxation. Both stories can be traced from the very beginning of income taxation in the United States to current debates on capital gains and wealth transfer taxes. Through this Comment, I seek to better understand these theories and, through them, better understand the debates on taxation of capital in which they are used.