Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter three: The Second Right of the Governed with Regard to Taxation - Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments
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chapter three: The Second Right of the Governed with Regard to Taxation - Benjamin Constant, Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments 
Principles of Politics Applicable to a all Governments, trans. Dennis O’Keeffe, ed. Etienne Hofmann, Introduction by Nicholas Capaldi (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).
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The Second Right of the Governed with Regard to Taxation
A second right of the governed with regard to taxes is that their nature and mode of collection should cause as little hardship as possible for the taxpayers, tending neither to harass nor to corrupt them and not giving rise, by way of pointless expenditures, to further taxation.
From this right it follows that the governed may also demand that taxes fall equally on all, proportionately to their wealth, that they leave nothing uncertain nor arbitrary as to their incidence or mode of collection, that they do not render any property or industry unproductive, that they are wholly cost-efficient, and finally that their basis is reasonably stable.
Setting up a new tax always causes a perturbation which spreads from taxed activities to untaxed ones too. Much labor and capital flow into the latter to escape the impositions hitting the former. Profits fall in the former because of the tax and in the latter because of the competition. Equilibrium is restored only slowly. Whatever change takes place is therefore irksome for a given period.
 It is by applying these rules to diverse forms of taxation that one can judge which are and which are not admissible.
It is not within our brief to examine all of them. We will choose only certain examples to convey a sense of the mode of reasoning which seems to us the best.