Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

A History of Taxation

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I was browsing through a local bookstore last night when I stumbled upon a new book called Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue. You might not expect a book about the history of taxation over thousands of years to be exactly a page-turner, but it is (at least to me; I really like this kind of thing, particularly since it is combining financial history with political history, both topics of great interest to me). Some of the subjects covered are:

  • The relationship of taxation to government control;
  • How the most ancient writings, including the Rosetta Stone, were actually about tax law;
  • The peculiar ways in which property taxes were computed, including calculations based on the number of windows your house had;
  • Trade and tariffs;
  • How government uses taxes to modify the behavior of its citizenry;
  • How very recent the idea of taxing companies actually is;
  • How the rich have, for time immemorial, sought to avoid getting taxed what the law says is the state’s due.