What do England and Cascadia have in common, besides the weather in November? People who like to talk about tax shifting!
Seriously, yesterday, the Rt Reverend James Jones, the bishop of Liverpool, editorialized in the Guardian for shifting taxes away from productive labor and toward natural resource extraction. He argued that this would not only create "more of a discipline on our use of original material," but also encourage more creative, productive use of labor to generate the highest value per unit of natural resource – effectively inverting the current labor-to-resource ratio. Translation: more good jobs and less waste.
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The basic gist is to align tax policy to get more of what we want, and less of what we don’t want. Bumper sticker version: Tax waste, not wages!
It’s one of our favorite topics at Sightline. Politically, Jones argues that shifting taxes from labor to resource extraction might "suit all three major political parties. Conservatives would welcome the rewarding of enterprise, Liberal Democrats would value the lessening impact on the environment, and Labour would see it as a means of sharing goods more fairly." Hmmm…more similarities…a pattern…emerging.
Maybe we’re ready to take up the conversation here in Cascadia? If you want more info or have someone to share it with, you can download for free our snappy little book on the subject Tax Shift.
TomPaine.com also contributed a recent plug for tax shifting. If you know of any other tax shifting discussions or initiatives, let us know. Even better, anyone up for writing an op-ed?