The luxury tax (English translation)


(original publication: Catallaxy Institute –  L’Indipendenza)

The City of Milan yesterday approved the new Italian property tax and varied the rate according to whether a real estate unit is considered to be a ‘luxury’ property or not.
In a totalitarian democracy, that is, in a political system such as our own in which there are no limits of principle to what the political majority can decide and therefore no limits on political power, this measure has provoked no outrage, just as progressive taxation does not.
But let us reflect for a moment, as though, merely for the sake of argument, Italy were governed by the rule of law, which – being an abstract principle, the result of a spontaneous process of cultural selection of uses and conventions (as the Italian language is, for example) – is a limit to arbitrary power, rather than an instrument of it.
Let us imagine two individuals: Claire and Paul. Continue reading