Monday, September 9, 2013
Beyond Economic Efficiency in United States Tax Law (Wolters Kluwer 2013) (David A. Brennen (Dean, Kentucky), Darryll K. Jones (Associate Dean, Florida A&M) & Karen B. Brown (George Washington), eds.):
This book is inspired primarily by two events that occurred over the past couple of decades. The first was the start of the Critical Tax Theory movement. The Critical Tax Theory movement began with a series of conferences initiated in 1995. The principal organizer of the first conference was Professor Nancy Staudt. The name ‘‘critical tax theory’’ was apt because the initial participants shared a common dissatisfaction with the traditional way of viewing tax law solely along an equity-efficiency axis, with a narrow construct of equity subordinated to notions of efficiency. The initial conferees presented papers that, without entirely eschewing the equity-efficiency dichotomy, analyzed tax law from perspectives explicitly acknowledging the influence of gender, race, sexual orientation and other social constructs. Except for a three-year break, tax scholars continue today to annually organize similar Critical Tax Theory conferences throughout the United States on or around April 15 - the traditional due date for individual tax returns in the United States. Although many of the papers presented at Critical Tax Theory conferences do not explicitly involve critical legal analysis of tax law, the impetus for the series of conferences was to inject critical legal studies principles into the study of tax law. Taxing America (NYU 1997), a collection of original essays authored by many who participated in the early Critical Tax Theory conferences, was an important milestone because it was the first effort to publish, in book form, a coherent volume of contributions to the Critical Tax Theory debate.