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Taxation and Domestic Free Trade

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Abstract

In this paper it is argued that the domestic division of labor and trade is organized according to the same principle as the international division of labor and trade – the Ricardian comparative advantages. After all, the ultimate source of these comparative advantages is the individual. The comparative advantages of individuals then lend themselves to groups of people, companies, regions and countries. It is these that make it worthwhile for people to cooperate on any larger scale at all; we all rely on them and they imply that there is room for everyone in society. But just as tariffs ruin the international division of labor, taxes and similar domestic government interventionism destroy the domestic division of labor among people. This is illustrated by means of the ‘division of labor condition’, where taxes enter as a possible restriction to trade, thus creating a Darwinist society of the survival of the fittest. The least productive individuals and those who face the highest barriers to trade run the risk of ending up on the outskirts of society. The more productive ones will run the risk of overreaching as they are forced to perform more and more tasks themselves. The result is not only more home labor and more black markets, but also real barter and situations where nothing gets done at all. To restore the division of labor, and to make room for everyone who wants to participate in it, it is argued that removing barriers to domestic trade is the only possible option.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnsson, Richard, 2004. "Taxation and Domestic Free Trade," Ratio Working Papers 40, The Ratio Institute, revised 07 Jun 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0040
    Note: The publication refers to a Swedish version of the paper.
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    File URL: http://www.ratio.se/pdf/wp/rj_domestic.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Johnsson, Richard, 2004. "Economic Freedom in Sweden 1950-2002," Ratio Working Papers 55, The Ratio Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Division of labor; Comparative Advantage; Trade; Productivity; Growth; Taxes; Unemployment; Household Labor; Informal economy;

    JEL classification:

    • B30 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - General
    • B53 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Austrian
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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