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TAXATION AND REPRESENTATION.

TO THK rnITOU

Sir, —It is often raid by politicians and candidates for parliamentary honors that where political power is possessed by tho whole nf the people of a country it m high!v desirable that taxation should fall not <in one class, such as landowners, hut on all, in order that all who exercise political power may possess a duo sense_ of responsibility for the just and economical government' of the country. Taxation and representation, they say, cannot with safety he divorced. But however desirable 'it may be to combine with political power a dear knowledge of public questions, ilie fire;', cut system ot unjust taxation and representation certainly does not .o rure the desired end. Most of our taxation is indirectly raised from those least al io to bear it,' and who are very often ignorant nf the taxes they pay. and certainly of the amount. ’1 hits we Jiave a large class who can have, no interest in taxation they do not nndeistand, and. consequently.' little or no concern in good government; whoso position on election day is determined in large measure by local and personal matters, ami not by considerations of great public interert. Now. the effect of substituting for tho manifold taxer, now imposed a substantial tax on the community-created value of the land would greatly' increase the number of conscious taxpayers, for the division of land now hold by (he speculators would greatlv increase the number of landholder's, and would tend to so equalise the distribution of wealth as to raise even the pooiest above that sou!-destroying condition of poverty in which public contidi rations have no weight, while it would at the same time diminish those fortunes which raise their possessors above concern in government. Thu dangerous classes politically, il has been trulv .-aid, are the very rich and the very poor. Therefore let the workers at this opportune time (urn their eniram hii'cd glance' umm these commercial land values which, above all, are recognised a* a peculiarly fit basis for taxation, because they aw the creation not of the "owners as such, hut of Nature and of the people who Jjvn and work on a kI around tho land. The late Professor Thorold Rogers puts tho position most clearly when he says : " Every permanent improvement of the soil, every railway ami mad. every heitoting of the general condition ot society, every facility given for production, every stimulus simphed to consumption, raises rent. The landowner sleep? Out thrives. II.: -alono among all the recipients in the distribution of products owes everything to the Ichor of other.-:, contributes nothing of hi: own. 11' inherit.; part of the fruits of pie.-ent indus.ry, and has appropriated the lion's slit: re of accumulated intelligence. ’’ It is not the taxes which a man is conscious of paying which gives him a stake in the country a-nd an interest in its government. Men do not vote patvioti'.aih any move than they fight patriotically hwamo of the taxes they pay. It is the knowledge that ho. in an important unit of tie - community, that its success is his sinves.-, that its honor is his own, and that its disgrace is his shame. Let the citizen feel this, let him ho surrounded by all the influences that spring iron', a comfortable home life, free from exploitation by his fellows or In class government, and tho country may depend upon him to maintain those (M'ivi leges, even to limb or life. —1 am, etc.., W. \V. Cau.i;si)Ku. Do; ember 1.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141203.2.14.1

Bibliographic details

TAXATION AND REPRESENTATION., Evening Star, Issue 15666, 3 December 1914

Word Count
590

TAXATION AND REPRESENTATION. Evening Star, Issue 15666, 3 December 1914

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