Beech River Books

Tax Pollution, Not Income
A New Prosperity in an Ecological Age

by Roy Morrison
Tax Pollution, Not Income: A new prosperity in an ecological age

Tax Pollution, Not Income answers perhaps the fundamental question that American democracy must address in the 21st century.

How can we make a democratic market economy serve the cause of ecological survival and prosperity?

The answer is surprising and at hand: Tax pollution not income. End the income tax and the IRS. Combine this with government savings and investment in sustainability, and with a Negative Income Tax balanced by a responsibility for National Service to end poverty and welfare and provide a fair basis for social justice.

Tax Pollution, Not Income presents a comprehensive and achievable design, informed by the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, that uses our existing  market economy and democratic institutions to craft a durable plan for prosperity and survival. The book presents in detail a program based on three basic and mutually supporting policies that represents:

In sum, this plan means:

The policy paper shows how all Income taxes can be replaced over ten years by two ecological consumption taxes indexed on the basis of pollution, depletion and ecological destruction:

By taxing polluting, depletion, and ecologically damaging goods and services more, the market will be made to send price signals for sustainability. We tax poison, not income. The pursuit of lower prices and self-interest will be the path to ecological sustainability.

Trust Investment can save social security, provide an educational birthright for all Americans, and eventually, in a sustainable world, provide sufficient income to meet all federal revenue requirements. Yes, a 21st century end to all taxes is possible. Tax Pollution, Not Income shows us how.

Tax Pollution, Not Income explores how the regressive nature of consumption taxes, even ecological ones, that tax the poor more heavily than the rich, can be remedied by a Negative Income Tax that supports work and attacks poverty, balanced by the responsibility for National Service. An expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit will provide a right to a negative income tax that will virtually eliminate poverty (at reasonable cost), in exchange for the responsibility of a universal 16-24 month period of National Service. These interrelated policies are presented as grist for democracy's mill, and to inform a popular response to the crisis of our times.

As Tom Paine wrote of the seriousness of The American Crisis on Dec. 19, 1776: "These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country....Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."

Roy Morrison has developed the ideas in Tax Pollution, Not Income as a logical consequence of many years work as an energy consultant, writer, activist and social theorist.

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$12.95 / paperback / 85 pages /
Writer's Publishing Cooperative / 2003 /
ISBN 10: 1-930149-12-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-930149-12-0

Roy Morrison is an energy consultant, writer and cooperative organizer. He is involved in pioneering work in developing wind hedges and was a former leader of the Clamshell Alliance that used non-violent action to oppose the construction of the Seabrook nuclear power plant. His web page is


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