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The Power to Tax: Analytical Foundations of…
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The Power to Tax: Analytical Foundations of a Fiscal Constitution (1980)

by James M. Buchanan

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865972303, Paperback)

Commenting on his collaboration with Geoffrey Brennan on The Power to Tax, James M. Buchanan says that the book is “demonstrable proof of the value of genuine research collaboration across national-cultural boundaries.” Buchanan goes on to say that “The Power to Tax is informed by a single idea—the implications of a revenue-maximizing government.”

Originally published in 1980, The Power to Tax was a much-needed answer to the tax revolts sweeping across the United States. It was a much-needed answer as well in the academic circles of tax theory, where orthodox public finance models were clearly inadequate to the needs at hand.

The public-choice approach to taxation which Buchanan had earlier elaborated stood in direct opposition to public-finance orthodoxy. What Buchanan and Brennan constructed in The Power to Tax was a middle ground between the two. As Brennan writes in the foreword, “The underlying motivating question was simple: Why not borrow the motivational assumptions standard in public-choice theory and put them together with assumptions about policy-maker discretion taken from public-finance orthodoxy?”

The result was a controversial book—and a much misunderstood one as well. Looking back twenty years later, Brennan feels confirmed in the rightness of the theories he and Buchanan espoused, particularly in their unity with the public-choice tradition: “The insistence on motivational symmetry is a characteristic feature of the public choice approach, and it is in this dimension that The Power to Tax and the orthodox public- finance approach diverge.”

James M. Buchanan is an eminent economist who won the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1986 and is considered one of the greatest scholars of liberty in the twentieth century.

The entire series will include:

Volume 1: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty
Volume 2: Public Principles of Public Debt
Volume 3: The Calculus of Consent
Volume 4: Public Finance in Democratic Process
Volume 5: The Demand and Supply of Public Goods
Volume 6: Cost and Choice
Volume 7: The Limits of Liberty
Volume 8: Democracy in Deficit
Volume 9: The Power to Tax
Volume 10: The Reason of Rules
Volume 11: Politics by Principle, Not Interest
Volume 12: Economic Inquiry and Its Logic
Volume 13: Politics as Public Choice
Volume 14: Debt and Taxes
Volume 15: Externalities and Public Expenditure Theory
Volume 16: Choice, Contract, and Constitutions
Volume 17: Moral Science and Moral Order
Volume 18: Federalism, Liberty, and the Law
Volume 19: Ideas, Persons, and Events
Volume 20: Indexes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

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Liberty Fund, Inc

2 editions of this book were published by Liberty Fund, Inc.

Editions: 0865972303, 086597229X

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