Monday, 10 June 2013

Tax-paying for Fun and Profit

"Tax-paying for Fun and Profit" is the title of an unusual working paper by Robert Kunstadt and Ilaria Maggioni, which you can read here on MPRA. According to the abstract,

"Modern advances give us the ability to re-engineer the taxation system to benefit from computerized automation and the insights of modern psychology. People like to do things that bring a tangible reward. Tax-paying should be made FUN, not a chore. You will want to participate if you perceive a direct benefit. This new model selectively adapts the old English system of raising money by granting royal monopolies. A tax-paying entity would be allowed to make a bid on the percentage of tax it would pay for acquiring monopoly rights on a particular venture, posted publicly on a government-auction website for others to see and to post their alternative bids. Proposals put out for bid could immediately be tested for market viability by getting a thumbs-up/thumbs-down from the general public. The rewards to the proposer and to the public can be immediately perceived by all. Hence, the conditions for a positive stimulus-response-reward loop are fulfilled. Tax-paying becomes both fun and profitable, even more gratifying than betting in Las Vegas, because the bidder gets a perceptible benefit from it right away. The advantage to the state and its citizens is that monopoly efficiency does not just serve the monopolist but also the public. The would-be monopolist must make a precise calculation of how much to offer the state in taxes; upon pain of losing the auction to a competitor. With minimal government intervention, the “invisible hand” of economic theory is put to the task of serving the public good".
Robert and Ilaria are attorneys with the intellectual property-based practice of R. Kunstadt PC: they also have a very original view of the world. This working paper is based on an earlier publication by the same authors on public patent pools, published in Les Nouvelles.

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