Write Your Calhounian Class Autobiography
By Bryan Caplan
Last year, I convinced quite a few econo-bloggers to post their “class autobiographies.” (Here was mine). One thoughtful reader suggested that it would have been more fruitful to build on John Calhoun‘s theory of class. For Calhoun, the relevant classes are not rich and poor, but “tax producers” and “tax consumers”:
The necessary result, then, of the unequal fiscal action of the government is to divide the community into two great classes: one consisting of those who, in reality, pay the taxes and, of course, bear exclusively the burden of supporting the government; and the other, of those who are the recipients of their proceeds through disbursements, and who are, in fact, supported by the government; or, in fewer words, to divide it into tax-payers and tax-consumers.
But the effect of this is to place them in antagonistic relations in reference to the fiscal action of the government and the entire course of policy therewith connected. For the greater the taxes and disbursements, the greater the gain of the one and the loss of the other, and vice versa.
With apologies for my tardiness, I now propose to write my Calhounian class autobiography.
If anyone else want to take the Calhounian challenge, let me know; I’ll link to you.