There are two dominant narratives about taxation. In one, taxes are the “price we pay for a civilized society” (Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.). In this view taxes are not a necessary evil (as in the pairing of “death and taxes” as inevitable) but a positive good: more taxes buy more “civilization.” The other view is that taxes are “tribute to Leviathan”—a pure involuntary extraction from those engaged in economic production to those who control coercive power producing no reciprocal benefit. In this view taxes are a bane of the civilized. We consider the question of taxes as price versus tribute for contemporary India.
Here you will find CGD work of special interest to development studies educators and their students including syllabuses from courses taught by CGD-affiliated professors as well as slidedecks and multimedia presentations. We have selected from CGD’s hundreds of publications those that provide broad overviews or are otherwise more readily accessible than CGD’s more technical work. Search the materials by topic using the toolbar below and consult our list of development programs at different universities around the world.
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