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Sunday, September 30, 2012

There is a Limit to Taxation

For John, BLUFEven in Pre-1492 Islamic Culture the smart guys knew that high taxes were bad for the economy.  Nothing to see; just move along.

Or so says Blogger David Foster, at the Chicago Boyz:

It should be known that at the beginning of a dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessments.  At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments.
It is obvious that he is quoting someone else, someone with a more archaic vocabulary.  Later within a long extract, there is this:
If one understands this, he will realize that the strongest incentive for cultural activity is to lower as much as possible the amounts of individual imposts [taxes] levied upon persons capable of undertaking cultural enterprises.  In this manner, such persons will be psychologically disposed to undertake them, because they can be confident of making a profit from them.
The original author is Ibn Khaldūn, the great Muslim historian, in his Introduction to History.  There are things to be learned from the vigorous culture that stretched from Spain East to Iran and beyond in those years before European culture recaptured Spain and Portual and then headed West across the Atlantic.

You can read the whole blog post, "Economic Policy Advice From 1377 AD", here.  There is more extracted from the book at the link.

Regards  —  Cliff

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