Tax Foundation Book Club

May 10, 2005

Educating the public and the government about taxation is one of the stated purposes of the Tax Foundation. In that spirit, our economists here will periodically post which books they are reading to better educate themselves about the economics of taxation. Think of it as a tax policy answer to “Oprah’s Book Club”. Check back often to learn which books, papers, periodicals and other publications can better inform you about taxation. The following are books I have been reading:

Showdown at Gucci Gulch by Alan Murray and Jeff Birnbaum, although written in 1987, is timely since it provides a detailed account of how tax reform was accomplished in 1986. Follow the path of the legislation as it worked its way from an idea to the law of the land. Learn about how legislation is actually created, in addition to a great deal about taxes and the way tax policy affects everyone.

Milton Friedman’s Freedom to Choose: A Personal Statement is a rigorous treatment of the value of free markets. This book will teach you how the power of the market can create better tax policy which will benefit everyone.

Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions articulates how we arrive at our beliefs about public policy, and why these beliefs are generally regarded as falling in to one of two categories which are diametrically opposed. Sowell’s book will help explain why we are often divided about proper Tax Policy, which may help facilitate a more substantive debate about taxes.


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