Justice in Taxation (20232). 2 units. In this seminar, we will consider how taxation, understood broadly, might advance alternative notions of justice, ranging from utilitarian to libertarian to egalitarian. Topics include progressive taxation, income and wealth taxation, the consumption tax, taxation of the family, retirement, and the working poor. Students will write a seminar paper. Students may, conditional on the instructor's approval of the topic, write a paper that will fulfill the Substantial Paper or Supervised Analytic Writing paper. Paper required. Open only to J.D. students. Enrollment limited. Permission of the instructor required. A.L. Alstott.
Prerequisites: Students must meet two prerequisites: (1) Federal Income Taxation; (2) Justice (taught from Bruce Ackerman at Yale Law School) or equivalent introductory course on theories of distributive justice. This prerequisite can be met by watching the lectures for the Harvard undergraduate course, Justice (taught by Michael Sandel), available without charge on edX.org.
Note: This seminar is a yearlong enterprise. We will meet once per week for roughly four weeks in the fall. We will then adjourn so that students can meet with the instructor individually to discuss their papers. We will reconvene in the second half of the spring term for student paper presentations. The course will only appear on the student's fall-term transcript record.
Course Selection: In addition to listing this course among permission-of-the instructor selections, students should also submit a one- to two-page statement of interest, outlining one or more interests or possible paper topics by June 26 at 4:30 p.m.