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Thomas Jefferson on Taxation | by elycefeliz
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Thomas Jefferson on Taxation

from The Unsettling of America - Culture & Agriculture, by Wendell Berry

 

As our present economy clearly shows, the small can survive only if the great are restrained. And there is nothing undemocratic or anti-libertarian about restraining them. To assume that ordinary citizens can complete successfully with people of wealth and with corporations, as our government presently tends to do, is simply to abandon the ordinary citizens. Restraint by taxation is the smallest, most obvious, simplest and cheapest answer. This is not my idea. It is Thomas Jefferson's. Writing to Reverend James Madison on October 28, 1785, Jefferson spoke of the desirability of freehold tenure of property. And then he said:

 

"Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometric progression as they rise. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that employment be provided to those excluded from the appropriation."

 

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Taken on November 16, 2009