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Document Details :
Title: Tussen instrumentalisme en isolationisme
Subtitle: Over de filosofie van belastingheffing
Author(s): VERBEEK, Bruno
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 84 Issue: 1 Date: 2022
Are there domain-specific principles for assessing the justice of tax burdens or can tax burdens only be evaluated against the overall distribution of burdens and benefits in society? When looking at recent literature in distributive justice, the latter approach seems to be favored. Taxation is regarded as one of the buttons to push in order to achieve the desired distributive result. In this text, I make a plea for domain-specific principles of taxation such as the ability-to-pay principle and the benefit principle. I do this by first setting up two extreme positions: instrumentalism, the view that there are no domain-specific principles of taxation, and isolationism, the view that there are only domain-specific principles of taxation. Next, I discuss a couple of arguments against isolationism and show that these are not conclusive and are not dismissive of domain-specific principles of taxation. Finally, I discuss two types of reasons for including domain-specific principles in the assessment of fiscal policy, thus carving out a position between instrumentalism and isolationism.