January 30, 2005

Taxation Without Recrimination

As Brad Delong says, this Elizabeth Anderson post—in which she deploys Hayek to smash the idea that pre-tax income is in any way a matter of desert—is quite brilliant. But her earlier post on the subject might be even better, in which she argues that natural property rights are incompatible with thriving capitalism. The woman's a force of nature!

Only one quibble: I'm not entirely swayed by her argument that a successful capitalist system needs limited liability corporations, at least of the sort constructed by our legal system. Sure we have them, and they work, and most (all?) liberal economies do it this way, but couldn't we get a similar result through the private insurance market? Surely there are "natural" ways to acquire limited liability, no?
-- Brad Plumer 4:44 AM || ||