Fortune on Taxes:
Here we are, in the middle of the thirties, depression raging. What does the preëminent organ of capitalism have to say about taxes? Here are some highlights:
- II. It (taxation) is an obligation of citizenship that should fall more heavily on the wealthy than on the poor.
Filthy socialist radicals! You just can’t trust conservative midwestern manufacturers, progressive New England manufacturers, southern businessmen, labor leaders, the old-money rich, tax experts, Swedish economists, or, well, okay, Socialists.
- IV. If we are to maintain the capitalist system, taxes must be imposed so as to place the least hindrance upon economic progress.
This is a fantastic reminder of what the turmoil must’ve been like (especially to a non-historian). That “If.” Wow. It makes the already ridiculous talk of any public component of the economy as “socialist” just that much more ridiculous. The current administration has done the single most socialist action in memory by re-nationalizing the banks, basically an admission of the failure of laissez-faire policies of self-regulation. So, like, today, Socialism is saving, in a sense, Capitalism. I wonder what these guys would’ve made of this all.
I gotta say I’m a little dubious though about easing the burden on the wealthy (VI.1 seems at odds with II) and putting it on the middle class (VI.4). If they did it, it didn’t work. We only got out of it with massive governmental programs, whether the alphabet soup, or the even larger one of WWII production.