Unexpected Ally

The argument of "Taxes and the Common Good," by Chuck Collins (April 2011), is supported by none other than Adam Smith, the "father of capitalism." Like Collins, Smith criticizes extreme concentrations of wealth. Collins advocates government regulation of speculation through taxation; Smith also argued for government regulation of banking. Collins suggests "thoughtful reductions" in Pentagon spending; Smith was caustic in his criticisms of wasteful military spending, arguing that wars always cost more than any gains they produce. Finally, Collins and Smith both advocate progressive taxation. Our society today would be stronger (as well as economically more powerful) if we listened to both Smith and Collins.

John E. Hill
Quincy, Massachusetts

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