Taxation in the Liberal Tradition

ROBERT A. LAWSON, J.R. CLARK

THE REVIEW OF AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS

Abstract: In this essay, we argue that liberal economists should take more seriously the problems of public goods and externalities as well as the capacity of taxation and state action to improve human welfare. While taking seriously the public choice concerns about how the political process works as well as Austrian concerns about the limits of our knowledge in the absence of market price signals, we should also acknowledge that public goods and externalities do exist and taxation can provide a means to improve human welfare.