Monday, September 21, 2009

Taxing the Poor

Macario Schettino has a contrarian take on the typical poor Mexicans vs. value-added tax debate:
[T]he most vulnerable Mexicans do not form a part of the most relevant political groups. Of course everyone talks about the poorest, but no one really represents them. There are politicians that claim to do so, but in reality they speak in place of the poor, not in favor of them. The poorest 30 percent of the population would surely approve a value-added tax or 10, 15, or 20 percent, knowing that this would mean an increase in their income by 50 or 100 percent. That has happened with Opportunities, which has changed the lives of millions of Mexicans. Not those who write to newspapers, or talk on the radio and television, or work in the university.
I believe a scenario like this was once mentioned by Noel Maurer in a comment thread at his blog as a relatively simple and viable way to implement a VAT in Mexico without drilling the poor.

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