The word desiderata describes perfectly what I want to discuss in this post on real tax reform. I first encountered it taking Professor Fred Brooks’s computer architecture course in grad school in 1977. In his 2010 book, The Design of Design, Brooks defines desiderata as the secondary objectives of a design. Using design of his beach house as an example, the primary goal is to build a beach house. The desiderata are things like being able to survive hurricanes, showcasing the stunning views, and being able to seat and sleep 14 people.
I previously discussed three goals for a tax system, the most important being to raise funds for public services. Let’s agree for now not to debate what public services are appropriate nor how much money should be spent to provide those services. Whatever the amount, the money must be raised. That’s the goal.
What are the desiderata for a reformed tax system?Read More »Real Tax Reform: Desiderata