What Are Taxes Actually For?

Taxes are important. Just not for the reasons that are often talked about. Taxes exist for a number of reasons:

To maintain the value of the currency; To stabilise aggregate demand;To manage growth and distribute wealth and, depending on what you think government is for and who it exists to serve, ensure prosperity and equality of opportunity for their constituents; To discourage bad behaviours (taxation on cigarettes, for example, are designed to discourage smoking and reduce the burden on health systems) & encourage good behaviours, (like promoting sustainability through a tax on carbon and investment in renewable energy); It also exists to accurately cost public spending requirements: infrastructure, education, health, public safety: police, fire, ambulance, defence, intelligence etc.

Why We Need A Wealth Tax

"You don’t tax the rich because you need their money in order to feed a hungry kid or fix a crumbling bridge. You tax the rich because they are too damn rich and extreme concentrations of wealth especially, but also income, are bad for the functioning of the economy, are bad for democracy. That’s the rationale for taxing the rich. Not because we can’t do other things unless we get money from them to pay for it." - Professor Stephanie Kelton.