Effects of Taxation: Investments by Individuals

By J. Keith Butters; Lynn L. Bollinger | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
Summary of Major Conclusions
THE effects of taxes on the investment capacity and policies of individuals can best be analyzed by breaking the subject down into three main problems to be investigated or questions to be answered.The first is that of ascertaining which classes of the population are important, in so far as the flow of equity capital from private individuals to business is concerned. In particular, is it the large mass of the population with small to medium-size incomes, or is it the small proportion of individuals in the society who receive sizable incomes? When the sharply differing impact of the tax structure on people in different income classes is considered, it quickly becomes apparent that this is a key question for any study of the effects of taxes on individual investors.Our first task then is to determine: Whose investment decisions are important? Broadly speaking, the evidence leads to an unambiguous answer to this question: From the standpoint of the flow of equity capital from private investors to business, the investment decisions of individuals in the upper income and wealth classes are of overwhelming importance.Once the focal point of our analysis -- namely, individuals in the upper income and wealth classes -- has been determined, the remaining problems are to ascertain the effects of taxes on the investment capacity of these individuals and on their investment policies. In brief, then, the three questions around which our analysis is centered are:
1. Whose investment decisions are important?
2. How have taxes affected the investment capacity of these groups of investors?
3. How have taxes affected their investment policies?

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