Malcolm St. Pier on Tax as Fine

Posted by admin on Monday, March 31, 2014

Malcolm St. Pier Money Quotation saying that taxes and fines could be seen as equivalent, with different goals – both discouraging. Malcolm St. Pier said:
 
A fine is a tax for doing something wrong. A tax is a fine for doing something right Quote
 

“A fine is a tax for doing something wrong. A tax is a fine for doing something right” — Malcolm St. Pier

 

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This quote from Malcolm St. Pier suggests that the difference between a fine and a tax is essentially just semantics, as both penalize individuals financially.

The best interpretation is that St. Pier believed fines punish unlawful acts, while taxes have the effect of fining people simply for engaging in lawful and economically productive behavior.

According to St. Pier, earning an income, making profits, or otherwise benefiting financially from legal activities are “doing something right”, yet tax obligations take a portion of those gains as if they were wrongdoings requiring a penalty.

The implication is that St. Pier saw taxation less as a required civic duty and more as a way for governments to effectively fine citizens for success or virtuous conduct within the rules set by society and laws.

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