Hayek suggested a capital levy to pay for the war

Jan 2009
5,841
50
#1
Ran across a quotation from Hayek about capital levies today as someone was comparing the Cypriot situation to Britain in the past. Turns out Hayek had suggested a wealth tax to help pay for WII: "There might… be a strong case for a capital levy on old wealth, payable partly in shares of the industrial capital of the country, to create a trust fund, a kind of giant holding company, which would give the holders of the war savings, instead of a claim against the government, an equity in the industrial capital of the country..."

continued: Socialism and War: Essays, Documents, Reviews - F. A. Hayek - Google Books

Just goes to show that Hayek was above the petty political dogmatism that today's Austrians and "free market" conservatives often parade (and use Hayek as a symbol of). And before someone starts yelling at me for being a big government Keynesian or whatever, I used to consider myself an "Austrian" and a "free market conservative" until I realized that it was the methodology that was flawed to begin with.
 
Jul 2013
12
2
los angeles
#2
Capital Flight?

Do you think the US would suffer the same capital/brain drain as France?

"Capital flight
A 2006 article in The Washington Post titled 'Old Money, New Money Flee France and Its Wealth Tax' pointed out some of the harm caused by France's wealth tax.

"The article gave examples of how the tax caused capital flight, brain drain, loss of jobs, and, ultimately, a net loss in tax revenue.

"Among other things, the article stated, 'Éric Pichet, author of a French tax guide, estimates the wealth tax earns the government about $2.6 billion a year but has cost the country more than $125 billion in capital flight since 1998.'[14][15]

"The concern about capital flight is lessened where a country such as the United States has worldwide tax jurisdiction and assets may be taxed wherever they are located. The problem of capital flight could also be solved by a global agreement to tax all wealth at the same rate. In practice this would not be feasible."

Since much wealth derives from war, would it be more feasible to extend a 100% tax on all war profits after the first civilian death in any conflict?

"Could war be taxed into extinction in the same way chattel slavery could have been exterminated in the decades between Valley Forge and Cold Harbor by taxing slave produced cotton?
 
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