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THE SECOND EDITION.
The Author of “The People's Blue Book” has little to add beyond the expression of his satisfaction at the quick demand for a Second Edition.
The errors, and imperfections, whatever they are, must be pointed out, before they can be removed.
The few critical remarks which have been made, show but a very imperfect knowledge of the scope, and object, of the work.
The Author did not expect to be called upon to say, that it is no part of his proposal “to throw the great burden of taxation upon real estate.” Not only has he not proposed anything like this, but quite the contrary. The whole book proposes, and advocates, the equal taxation of all realised property; and shows that, under the proposed new system of direct taxation of realised property, no undue proportion of the taxation of the country would be thrown on real estate, and that the owners of real estate, as well as of all other : descriptions of realised property, would thereby be greatly relieved from the present pressure of taxation, whilst all those numerous classes who are dependent on their industry, and skill, for their means of daily subsistence, would be entirely free from every tax on property, and would contribute only their equal proportion of the expenses of the State for the protection of their persons, and the maintenance of that social order in which all classes are equally interested.
For this purpose the Author proposes one new Taxa Capitation Tax-not the old Poll Tax of the feudal ages, but a Capitation Tax, fixed at the annual sum of 20s. payable by all classes, of both sexes, of the age of fourteen years, and upwards.
It seems only reasonable that all who are equally interested in the protection of their persons, should pay equally for that protection; and the Author can see nothing in this to remind any one of the feudal ages, or of Wat Tyler; for, beyond the name, there is not one point of similarity between the Capitation Tax now proposed, and the Poll Tax of those bygone times.
It is the duty of every man to consider how he can honestly do the best for himself, his family, and his country. If, therefore, he will inform himself of what he is actually paying to the Government, and will fairly consider whether that be what he ought to pay ; and if this book should be any help, and guide, to the
hard working classes, who bear the heaviest portion of the taxation, in forming a correct judgment on these two important questions, the object of the Author of “ The People's Blue Book” will have been attained.
It only remains for the Author, who wishes to preserve his incognito, thus to acknowledge, and return his thanks for,—the numerous commendatory letters with which he has been favoured, through his publishers, both in this country, and from abroad. Two, only, of these, he will more particularly refer to; one being from one of the most eminent, and intelligent, of the merchants in the City of London (whose name the Author does not consider himself at liberty to publish), who, after expressing the satisfaction with which he has read “ The People's Blue Book," writes as follows :-“ More than one influential friend has spoken to me in high terms of its utility, and research. I wish I could think that the doctrines of truth that it teaches were near realisation ; but it paves the way to a change of public opinion, and that, after all, is as much as can be done at present.
“The hatred to the inquisition of a clumsy, and unjust tax on INCOME, is confounded with, and mistaken for, a dislike to the principles of direct, as opposed to indirect, taxation, by nearly every class of society. Our governing classes encourage this—first, because it saves, or they think it saves, their own pockets; and, secondly, and mainly, because it gives
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