CHAPTER IX
DIFFERENTIATION IN TAXATION BETWEEN DIFFERENT SORTS OF EXPENDITURE

§ 1. THE relation between the present chapter and the preceding one must be made clear. In the preceding one we were concerned with the correction of maladjustments in the allocation of resources between different uses, and it was shown that these maladjustments could, in theory, be corrected by the collection of appropriately chosen taxes from some uses and the employment of the proceeds in bounties on other uses. In the present chapter we assume that either no corrections are required, or, alternatively, that whatever corrections are required have been made. We thus postulate that a certain revenue, over and above whatever it may have been necessary to collect and expend in the tax-bounty system, is required; and we ask whether and in what conditions it is better to raise this revenue by means of a uniform tax on all uses of income or by means of taxes which differentiate between various uses; differentiate, it will be understood, in addition to and independently of any differentiation that may have been involved in the aforesaid tax-bounty system. In conducting this inquiry, I shall speak, for simplicity, as though all incomes were earned, so that the manner in which a man spends his income corresponds to the manner in which he causes labour to be allocated among various productive occupations. Our task is to compare, from the standpoint of least aggregate sacrifice, a uniform tax scheme with differentiating tax schemes. This involves a threefold inquiry. We have to examine the rival schemes in respect of (1) their announcement

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