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Taxation - Research Paper Example

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Taxation One of the foundational aspects of society are it tax systems. Taxation is a fee added on to spending and income that goes directly to the government to fund projects for the public good. Taxation has a long-history in organized society. Indeed, the first known tax system occurred in Ancient Egypt in the first dynasty of the Old Kingdom (Olmert, p…
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instituted the first regulated and sustainable tax system (Olmert, p. 41). Today tax systems have evolved to include a multitude of forms. There are taxes on income, property, and goods and services, with varying rates according to annual salary. The nature of such tax systems, while in many ways essential to the functioning of society, has raised a great degree of controversy. This essay considers the nature of the tax system in relation to whether taxes should be applied. From an overarching context, taxation is used by the state government to advance a variety of collective social needs. There are a variety of ways that taxation benefits society. One of the most prominent ways is through infrastructure that allows society to function at the most basic level. In these regards, there are a great many aspects of society that are necessary for the very simple tasks of operation. Taxation goes to pay for roads, interstates, traffic lights, and traffic signs (Xavier, p. 111). In addition to specific infrastructure elements, taxation goes to pay for many utility and telecommunications processes. Furthermore, taxes fund the police and fire departments. These departments then ensure the safety and well being of society. Without these basic contributing elements then the very social order would disintegrate and society would not be able to function in the way that it currently does. Another way that taxation benefits society is through general social welfare and public works projects. In these regards, taxation functions as a sort of safety net for all members of society. Within this spectrum of consideration one recognizes that taxes contribute to elements including food stamp programs, welfare, unemployment, social security, and Medicare (Xavier, p. 111). This aspect of taxation is highly significant as it indicates that society is able to care for its sick and injured. This also creates the necessary elements required for general social well being. One considers that recently President Obama implemented a universal health care system where members throughout society would be given the opportunity to opt into the health care program. While funding for this occurs from a variety of inputs, one of the fundamental contributing factors is general taxation. Ultimately, then this system ensures the health care of members of society that would otherwise not occur. In addition to these considerations, there are more abstract perspectives on taxation as a badge of the social good. This perspective considers that paying taxes marks an individual as a member of society. Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, is noted as saying, “Every tax, however, is, to the person who pays it, a badge, not of slavery, but of liberty” (Smith, p. 704). This perspective is largely entrenched in the notion of the social contract. As a political philosophy the social contract considers that an individual that operates within society does so as within the confines of a social contract. This involves not harming one’s neighbor, not committing crimes, and contributing to the general social good in a variety of ways. Taxes then constitute the ultimate articulation of the social contract as one is directly contributing their income and wealth to the general social good. This then is the recognition that taxes, above the direct social contributions ... Read More
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