Taxing America

374 pages

13 illustrations

January, 1997

ISBN: 9780814726617



Also available in


LawEconomics & Business

Part of the Critical America series


Karen B. Brown is Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota.

All books by Karen B. Brown

Mary Louise Fellows is Everett Fraser Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota.

All books by Mary Louise Fellows

In the winter of 1996, Steve Forbespublisher, heir, and presidential candidatecaptured the American imagination with his proposal for a flat tax. But while Mr. Forbes claimed that such a tax would level the economic playing field by eliminating countless loopholes and miles of red tape, his actual proposal betrayed such claims to fairness by overtaxing workers and undertaxing financial capital.

In the face of recent proposals for dramatic and far-reaching tax reform, Taxing America takes a critical look at the way the federal government collects its revenue and exposes the bias at the heart of a system which claims to be objective and fair. Contrary to traditional tax scholarship, these writers argue that an awareness of disability discrimination, economic exploitation, heterosexism, sexism and racism is crucial to any analysis of tax policy.

Gathering together essays whose topics range from federal housing policy to environmental clean-up costs to tax treaty policy making, Karen B. Brown and Mary Louise Fellows present a philosophy that is as simple as it is radical: economic arrangements contribute significantly to the creation of social hierarchies and the perpetuation of discrimination. Given this reality, Brown and Fellows maintain that the goal of the federal tax law should be social justice and the disruption of discriminatory and exploitative practices.