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For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization [Format Kindle]

Charles Adams

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Descriptions du produit

From Publishers Weekly

This sweeping anecdotal survey of taxes through the ages aims to support the author's libertarian attacks on the current U.S. tax system and his call for a flat tax of 10% to replace the current income tax system. Tax attorney Adams ( Fight, Flight, Fraud: The Story of Taxation ) considers taxation a vital force in molding history; his discussions of civilizations ranging from that of ancient Greece to the French ancien regime are sometimes intriguing. For example, he suggests that the offer of tax immunity, rather than religious ideology, may have fueled the spread of Islam in the seventh and eighth centuries. But Adams does not engage other historians to argue his ideas, and he can be inaccurate with facts--forgetting Hugo Black, he writes that by the time of Nixon's presidency, the Supreme Court "had not had a Southerner for a hundred years." Some of his proposed reforms seem worthy--establish a crime for tax extortion, decriminalize the tax law--but others are dubious, such as the suggestion that members of Congress and federal judges be "immune" from the IRS. Moreover, his argument that low taxes were crucial to the "miracle economies" of Asia is simplistic; still more glaring is his failure to assess the impact of the Reagan administration's tax policies.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Adams, a tax attorney, presents the history of taxation from ancient times to the present. He studies tax law and collection procedures in ancient Egypt, Rome, Israel, Asia, Europe, and the United States, describing how taxation played a pivotal role in such earth-shattering events as the fall of Rome, the signing of the Magna Carta, and the American Revolution. The author analyzes lessons learned through study of the past and recommends measures for possible tax reform. The selected bibliography provides an excellent guide to further research. This important, timely study is highly recommended for business and history collections.
- Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 6209 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 530 pages
  • Editeur : Madison Books; Édition : 1st (27 décembre 1992)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B009D17G8Q
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°708.110 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  42 commentaires
76 internautes sur 78 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Many of the other reviews miss the point 9 octobre 2000
Par JF - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Many of the reviews posted are so obviously biased for and against taxes or big governement as to make their review worthless.
The book has 38 chapters, nearly every one discusses taxation in a different society starting in ancient Egypt and disucsses taxation by the Greeks, Roman, Russians, French, English, and finally Americans among others. The point is not that taxation is bad, but that corrupt systems of taxation are bad and that taxation above a certain level is bound to fail since people will find ways to avoid it. This is not made up history, there are 23 pages of endnotes and a twelve page bibliography.
There are a number of illustrations, as well as, well written stories from the Rosetta Stone (it was actually a grant of tax immunity); to how Muslims taxed infidels more in order to get them to convert; to Lady Godiva (she made her ride get the King, her husband, to remit the heavy taxes he imposed on the Coventry);, to taxation as one cause of the Civil War that few are aware of (there are 16 endnotes on this chapter alone, many from articles written during the Civil War).
This is a facinating book that should be required reading for every member of Congress.
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must read for every citizen 11 septembre 2002
Par Eugene A Jewett - Publié sur Amazon.com
It's unfortunate that so many American citizens are guilty of imposing willful ignorance upon themselves, otherwise our political leaders would be subject to a tighter leash. Charles Adams wrote this most informative book in the early 1990's and it has resonated with me ever since. He covers the history of taxation from the time of the first recording of history. Indeed the Rosetta stone was a tax document, and like the rest of the book it's a follow-the-money theory of history.
As Adams points out, figurative "mafia families", who have always run countries, have managed to compensate their armies by taxing the productive capacity of their subjects. Adam's central theme is that governments who overtax their citizens are nearly always "hoisted on their own petard." He cites ancient Greece, Rome, indeed governments from all over the world. His end game is to warn America's political elite that they've gone too far in a game where all great cultures have collapsed from within i.e. rotted at their moral core. And, he's right!
This book has many pages of cites and a long bibliography. It's a bit repetitious to read as he covers so many examples to make his point, but it's well worth the attention of every citizen if only they would spare the time.
24 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A sweeping historical narrative of taxation since Babylon 3 mai 2001
Par R. Setliff - Publié sur Amazon.com
I read this book sometime ago, but still recall it quite vividly. For good and evil- taxes seem like there here to stay. Adams, a tax attorney by trade, offers an intriguing narrative history of taxation since ancient times. Moreover, he illustrates how their is a fine line of how much sustained taxation a civilization can endure before it collapses, (hence the Laffer Curve.) He points out the pitfalls the befall ancient Rome and Egypt when they engaged in confiscatory taxation policies.
Additionally, he shows how high taxes feed a vicious cycle of statism, corruption and more taxes and economic collapse as demagogues rise to the power. Indeed, this book makes it clear that taxation has "the power to destroy" as it has brought mighty empires to their knees. (Granted, some might say its the effect, not the cause of a debased culture. Morality and tradition play a role as well in the collapse of civilizations.)
Also recommend: When Nations Die by Jim Black.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Provides a broad overview of taxation in various societies over the centuries 26 septembre 2005
Par Craig Matteson - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is a very interesting book that will probably give you a better understanding of the ways in which taxation has been used in the past. As in our time, the purposes have been to raise revenue for the government, but they were also used for other purposes. They were used to keep a given people in servitude to another, to shape social policy, to control markets, and so on.

The title of the book notes that taxes can be used for good and for evil. When used judiciously, the public can benefit from our shared contribution to certain good projects. What those are depends on what a given society values, and that is why democratically elected governments and therefore democratically controlled taxation are of real benefit. Unfortunately, we are moving away from such taxes to certain kinds of indirect fees and countless other hidden taxes. These have always ended up badly for a society, as they likely will for us.

However, being a republic, if we become educated about these things and demand our government sweep things clean, we can force it done. We should become more educated about these things and exert more control over government expenditures and on the way revenues are raised to cover them.

This is not a perfect book. Some of the anecdotes are told a bit glibly and others are shaded a bit to make a point. However, you will get the idea. Just don't run out and think that what you read here is settled historical fact. There are often subtleties that are left out in order to make a stronger point. Even with this caveat, this is still a useful book for everyone to read.
18 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must read for any citizen. 26 juillet 1999
Par Michael Scalise - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book contains some of the most powerful examples of what is going wrong with the USA today, and provides insight on what we should be going different. I read dozens of books a year on politics and current affairs and I think this is the best book I've read this decade. I recommend this book to everyone I can. The book has facinating historical references that are compiled like no other book I've seen. You won't be disappointed.
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