Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Richard Lavoie (Akron), Vox Clamantis in Deserto: The Role of the Individual in Forging a Strong Duty to the Tax System:
The United States is blessed with a prevailing social norm of high tax compliance. However, a number of strong forces are currently placing that norm in jeopardy. This essay reviews the process by which social norms change and the characteristics evidenced by “contagious” social norms. It then considers the important role individual action can plays in creating and maintaining a social norm of tax compliance and how individuals can be encouraged to embrace and propagate this norm. Particular emphasis is placed on 1) ways that a taxpaying social norm can be molded to make it more contagious among individuals and 2) the means of coopting important trendsetter groups into supporting the norm.