The completion of the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ review of taxation, chaired by Sir James Mirrlees, Nobel Laureate and proposer of a theory on optimal taxation, has given rise to three valuable volumes.
The editors’ introduction to this volume of thoroughly researched conference papers shows just how much has changed in OECD tax systems during the past few decades: flatter income tax rates, ubiquitous VAT, the almost complete disappearance of wealth taxes, a substantial reduction in excise duties, and much more. The separate chapters discuss the reasons for these changes, and also such fields as corporate taxes, environmental taxes, decentralized taxation, tax administration, and the relationships between tax policy, politics, and research.
“This Land is Our Land” is a recent video (2010) subtitled, “The Fight to Reclaim the Commons” and was previously titled “Silent Theft”. It’s by author David Bollier (Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication); it’s available from the Media Education Foundation.
Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend is closer to a Basic Income than almost any other policy in the world today. The lessons of how it was created and how it became so popular and successful are extremely important to the Basic Income movement. Two autobiographies available now tell different parts of the story of the Alaska Dividend. One is by Jay
We normally only review books in English, but with this edited collection we make an exception, not because it contains translations from our own publications, but because it is a sustained argument for the necessity and feasibility of a Citizen’s Income.
This book is the fruit of a lifetime of academic research and administrative experience in international social security policy. Rys worked for thirty years for the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and for half of that time as its General Secretary, and there can be few people with such a broad geographical and historical overview of the evolution of social security (here understood as financial benefits and also state insurance-funded health provision) and of the challenges facing it.
Not only is this a most useful textbook, but it is also a sustained argument for the usefulness of theory. The back cover says that the book is for students and their teachers, but because it constantly draws connections between social science theory and practical social policy it will also be read with profit by social policy practitioners.
The chapters of this book started life at a conference organised by the European Centre in Vienna, and it is therefore unsurprising that they contain more about Austria than about any other individual country; but there is still plenty of diversity, and the single country and comparative studies of recent changes in pensions provision contain material on a variety of European countries, including the UK.