Friday, July 19, 2013

Adam Smith on Taxation

Isaac Aimurie in Leadership (“for God and Country”) HERE 
and  - see more HERE
 Tax Types In Nigeria
The major source of government revenue in any country is from taxation. As propounded by Adam Smith (1776) in his book “The wealth of Nations.”
For ‘any government to succeed and fulfil its economic, legal, political, and technological objectives it must ensure that its taxation system is not only expansive but rather possesses the principles of equity, certainty, convenience, economy, simplicity, neutrality and efficiency.”
I do not recognise Isaac Aimurie’s assertion about Adam Smith’s ”objectives” of government – to “fulfil its economic, legal, political, and technological objectives”.
For an 18th-century government, an objective such as “technological” is anachronistic in the extreme.  It reads more like an objective of a 21st century Nigerian government, though no more likely of attainment now as it was in Smith’s time.  His objectives of government were defence, justice, public works, education of youth, education of people of all ages, limited public health, and "dignity of the sovereign".  These hardly conform to 21st century objectives in their 18th century forms.
Smith summarised Public Revenues using the then fairly common objective of taxation policy in “four maxims”: 1 Proportional to revenue “enjoyed under the protection of the state’; 2 Certain not arbitrary; 3 Convenient to the tax payer; 4 Limited – to as little as possible (WN Book V), i.e., not the seven objectives as identified by Isaac Aimurie
Using Adam Smith’s name and an alleged direct quotation is not uncommon, especially if it appears authentic.


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