Bret Bogenschneider (Indiana University East), How America was Tricked on Tax Policy (Anthem Press 2020):
How America was Tricked on Tax Policy explains how regular citizens were “tricked” by the outdated view of economists that much heavier taxation of labor rather than capital is economically justifiable. The truth is that workers pay their taxes while the rich pay very little. Based on reputable sources of information, including the publications of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), official statistics data, and the publications in high-ranked journals, the book paves the way for a new policy making process aimed to achieve more sustainable taxation and to increase the wellbeing of citizens as the main goal of any modern state policy.
Dealing with critically important and underexplored topics in tax policy, the book challenges an enshrined dogma that is rarely challenged at the level of policy. In doing so, this book envisions policy changes that could be highly impactful in a new political administration. This book proposes that governments should look for not just corporate income tax rate reduction when announcing their tax reforms but should equally focus on the reduction of the overall tax burden on labor. The negative impact and high social cost of wage taxation is exemplified by the key areas of tax policy that are relevant for every wealthy state, such as taking due care of public health, investing in education and wellbeing of children, and supporting small business for the overall benefit to society.
The book provides sound arguments that “labor” should essentially be treated as “human capital” and be given the same tax treatment as that of classically understood “capital”. This understanding is extremely relevant nowadays as we are facing the issues of digitalization, in general, and “robotization,” where a new type of labor, i.e., nonhuman labor, is entering the workforce. The book’s fresh novelty comes from its new approach to tax policy while addressing the issues relevant to the “digital” era such as taxation of artificial intelligence or “robots” that are currently partially substituting the human workforce. The book compellingly argues how tax policy could be improved by incorporating science and scientific methods.
Table of Contents
Introduction, The Classic Deceptions in Tax Policy
Chapter 1, Tax Policy in the Oval Office
Chapter 2, The Abandonment of Scientific Methods in Tax Research
Chapter 3, How the Business Tax System Favors Large Multinational Firms over Small Businesses
Chapter 4, The Limits of Moral Philosophy in Formulating Tax Policy
Chapter 5, Wage Taxes Do Have Social Costs
Conclusion, Postmodern Tax Policy, or Why the “Little People” Matter to Tax Policy