It’s true that some amount of state intervention is necessary and brings more good than harm.
Unfortunately income tax, capital gains tax, value added tax, property tax etc. all punish the productive people, who make and consume all kinds of goods and services.
But production itself is not something evil, harmful, and costly to the society. So what is costly?
- Environmental impact (water use, CO2 emissions, dust, smoke, noise).
- Health impacts of goods (i.e. someone who drinks and smokes more is more likely to get sick, which might burden public health system)
- Use of public space (like cars occupying the roads, leading to congestion, which is then relieved by constructing more roads, which is costly and allows even more traffic).
- Use of public services (like subsidised goods, energy etc.).
And these are the domains that are ethical to tax.
These kinds of institutional transformation would provide much more efficiency and prosperity for society. It could eliminate road congestion, promote new technology in environmentally sound way, or even allow more green cities and towns without invading private property.
Isn’t that great that city or state can shape it’s future?
Then why is that still taxing productivity, even if good, instead of shaping it for the better?