• Post category:Book notes

Title: Philosophie de l’impôt
Author: Philippe Nemo
Date started & finished: July 2018 about 2 weeks
Notes written on: 2018 NOV 11

Why I choose this book:
Taxes are part of life. And most of us apart from complaining about it know nothing or not much about it. I have been more and more interested in how the taxes system works. This book talks about the French tax system. I am curious to know more about and why things are the way they are.

Book theme/ message:
Understanding the French tax system and the history behind where it all comes from.

Personal connection: How does the book relate to me to me or my experiences?
Including my highlights passages and or quote.
I had thought that taxes where boring. Yet the more I read about it the more I understand why it is beneficial to know the basis of it. To make sure that I do not stay ignorant and pay more then I am required to by law.

extract about graduated tax:

The higher you earn the more taxes you pay, but the services you receive from the state are all the same.

You need to go back to the reason why taxes are there? The state collects taxes to provide services for its people. health, transport, cleaning, and much more.

Everyone receives the same service, yet with graduated tax the middle ratepayer pays more for the same service received from the lower ratepayer.

extract on redistributive tax and solidarism: (translated by Tara from French)

Taking money from the higher rate payer to redistribute to make everyone equal has its own issues.

“The privileges will not be able to enjoy their privileges and the non-privileges would freely receive the wealth that the privileges should have inherited.” Meaning that the privileges had stolen from the non-privileges.

“The reason is that Léon Bourgeois loathes liberty same as for Marx, since it is the reason for inequality creation. To remove it completely, it would not be enough to just recreate equality by a well calculated transfer; what would be required, is to remove freedom and private property which is why inequalities are created.”

extract from Murray Rothbard about taxes: (translated by Tara from French, I could not find the english original version)

“A crime is a crime, a theft is a theft, wether there are committed by a man or another, or by a group, or even the majority of the population in a given state. Wether the majority supports or endorses the theft does not change the criminal nature of the act, nor the severity of the injustice”

A passage from in The Ethics of Liberty

extract response to the argument: “sacrificial equality”

“It is strictly impossible to compare the use of a good or of a sum of money between different people. To say that the graduated tax insures sacrificial equality has therefore no sense, since we cannot measure and compare the sacrifice supported by different people”

P. Salin, La Tyrannie fiscal, op. cit., p.37

What impact or impression has this book made on me?
Systems in the government are outdated for the time we live in.

The system was built over generations. There are some laws that are still exist because the have always been there. Yet it makes no sense whats so ever with the current times.

(the world works like this a lot)

We live in the present time. Thus laws should be valid for the present time. What I do not understand is why people are so keen in holding on to something from the past. Times have evolved yet the system has not.

What I will be doing is to make sure I understand the basics of what is going on. And talking to people who understand the system well to help me navigate it.

Equality vs Freedom… which one would you choose?

How can I use this?
I can keep in mind how the system works. I can learn how it functions, so that I make sure that I am prepared for it when time comes again.

Why must I use this?
easy I can keep more of my money in the long run

When will I use this?
Before I start setting something up: a project, investing, work. So that I set it up according to the laws. It may cost a little more at the beginning but in the long run, I will be better.

My recommendation of this book: [low 1 … 10 high]
Enjoyment: 10
Learning: 10
Easy to read: 10
Why: A short book of 237 pages, providing a lot of information. It has a point of view, which you might to might not agree with. The history and actuality of it, is true. It is then up to you to chose what you want to do with the new knowledge you have acquired. Keep following like the general public and complain. Or think smart and find legal solution in the system.

PS. For most countries, the tax laws are available for free online. I do not recommend reading the whole things unless you want to. Just a passage might be on interest to you. Ask someone to help you read through them if you need. 

You may use the find/search command for searching words on website, and some PDF documents
command + F on MAC
Control + F on Microsoft

Thank you for reading

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