More quotes from Piketty

More quotes from Piketty

Taxation is not a technical matter.  It is pre-eminently a political and philosophical issue, perhaps the most important of all political issues.  Without taxes, society has no common destiny, and collective action is impossible.”

The idea of progressive tax on wealth is that over a certain level, property rights should in effect be temporary.  …  This means that each year you have to return to society two per cent or five per cent or ten per cent of your property.  …  In a way, it’s like permanent land reform.  It’s like a permanent revolution, but it’s a quiet revolution because it takes place within the rule of law.”

When a government taxes a certain level of income or inheritance at a rate of 70 or 80 percent, the primary goal is obviously not to raise additional revenue (because these very high brackets never yield much).  It is rather to put an end to such incomes and large estates, which lawmakers have for one reason or another come to regard as socially unacceptable and economically unproductive.”

Over a long period of time, the main force in favour of greater equality has been the diffusion of knowledge and skills.”

Also in this issue:

Chairman’s Introduction

Dazed and confused

Tax complexity itself is a kind of tax

Pay until you die

Blame it on the lawyer

When a judge loses her cool

What is “regularly”?

The snail in the ginger beer bottle