Taxation as a Deterrent - Levisan.me
The name’s Levi Breederland. I design and build things for the internet. This is my blog.
Published: 27 December 2016
Last Updated: 21 August 2018
I have a problem with some kinds of tax. I’m not going to go as far as saying that all taxation is theft (though sometimes it wouldn’t be too hard to convince me) or suggest better ways to tax people to make the bulk of government funds (though I wouldn’t mind talking about wealth taxes as an alternative to income taxes). This is specifically about taxes used as a deterrent against something that is bad, or deemed to be bad.
One example of this would be the tax on soft drinks that keeps getting suggested. The sole reason for this, we’re told, is that it will help deter people from buying the product, and as a result, promote healthier lifestyles. I believe the high taxes on alcohol and tobacco were originally with this intent as well, though it’s now a common belief that it’s the government making money because they know it’s possible.
If the government really needs to get involved with what’s good and bad for us, a better way should be implemented.
This video also bring up a similar question: is the idea of a “carbon tax” just a tax on something “bad” in order to convince us to stop using/producing the bad thing?
Every time I start thinking about this, it brings up the question: if gas tax, soda pop tax, tobacco tax, and similar taxes are truly to convince us to stop spending money on those things, what is an income tax for? To convince us to stop making money and just live off a universal income in a socialist state? It kind of sounds like it.