FMI Public Speaker Series
Panel Discussion — For Your Own Good: Taxes, Paternalism, and Fiscal Discrimination
in the Twenty-First Century — November 8
Speakers: Todd Nesbit, Bruce Benson, and E. Frank Stephenson
Location: Rawls College of Business - Grand Auditorium
Date & Time: Thursday, November 8, 2018, 5:30 PM
About the Program
Taxing “sin” is one of the oldest and most persistent forms of selective taxation. Founding Father and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton is said to have imposed a tax on whiskey “before the ink on the US Constitution was dry.” Motivated as much by a need to increase revenues as by a desire to do good, politicians often claim that “sin taxes” will fund projects that promote public health as well as curb unhealthy behavior. Yet sin taxes often represent inefficient public policy and may lead to a host of ill effects and unintended consequences that fail to improve public health and disproportionately hurt the poor.
In For Your Own Good, public budgeting and taxation experts Adam Hoffer and Todd Nesbit bring together the work of 25 scholars in the field of public choice economics to raise awareness of the consequences of selective taxation and encourage a better-informed debate over such policies. These scholars offer case studies on selective taxation and essays about public finance and public choice, the political economy of public budgeting, fiscal federalism, and the economics of the failing “nanny state.” (Excerpted from For Your Own Good, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 2018)
Join the Free Market Institute for a panel discussion on the research findings compiled and presented in For Your Own Good. The panel will feature remarks from co-editor of the volume, Dr. Todd Nesbit (Ball State University), and two contributors to the volume, Dr. Bruce Benson (Florida State (retired) and Free Market Institute) and Dr. E. Frank Stephenson (Berry College). This program is free and open to all members of the Texas Tech University community and the general public.
About the Speaker
Todd Nesbit is an assistant professor of free enterprise and entrepreneurial economics at Ball State University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from West Virginia University. His research focuses on excise taxation and cross-border consumption. Since 2005, he has authored or co-authored a number of cross-border and excise-related working papers, including "The Effects of Excise Taxes on Product Quality, Evidence from the Gasoline Market" and "Effects of Wine and Spirits Taxes in the Presence of Spatial Autocorrelation."
About the Speaker
Bruce Benson is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Florida State University, Senior Fellow of the Independent Institute and Contributing Editor of The Independent Review. He has authored four books and written over 125 peer-reviewed articles. His expertise is in law and economics, and anarcho-capitalist legal theory, including ideas about regulation, criminalization, commercial law, and Native American law. Prof. Benson served as the Templeton Visiting Scholar at the Free Market Institute during the spring 2016 semester.
About the Speaker
E. Frank Stephenson is the Henry Gund Professor of Economics and chair of the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance at Berry College. He is the Editor of the Journal of Economics and Finance Education and serves on the Executive Board of the North American Association of Sports Economists. Prof. Stephenson has authored and co-authored numerous academic articles with a focus on public policy and sports economics. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 1999.
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