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Freedom, Responsibility, and Coronavirus Policy

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Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie discuss the thorny relationship between individual freedom and coronavirus policy. Plus some tax talk and reconciliation bill updates, all on this Monday’s Reason Roundtable.

Discussed in the show:

0:32: Is refusing the vaccine equivalent to “exercising the freedom to kill people”? What at this point is the relationship between freedom and COVID-19 policy?

26:57: Weekly Listener Question: An argument against sales and value-added taxes is that they lead to higher costs of goods that low-income workers rely on. A simplistic viewpoint of taxes and economics dictates that all taxes are eventually paid by consumers. This view implies product prices are adjusted to maintain profitability regardless of whether the tax burden paid to the government is a multiplier on the compensation of labor, value added to the goods, or total sales cost. If that understanding is true, am I missing the argument that any of the taxes are more progressive or regressive on the basis of causing a higher cost of goods? A counterargument could be made that income taxes weigh compensation of labor more heavily against the value of materials when viewed as the total tax burden passed on to consumers. Since the ultra-wealthy don’t rely on wages but rather on the growth in value of their businesses and investments, income taxes should affect the wealthy the least. Are these arguments wrong, and are there better arguments out there to help steer the left parties away from income taxes?

36:30: A tax on unrealized capital gains in the reconciliation bill? What could go wrong?

45:59: Media recommendations for the week.

This week’s links:

Send your questions to [email protected]. Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

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