Publications by Our Scholars
Real Tax Reform
By Robin C. Capehart, J.D., LL.M. in Taxation
The author provides analysis of West Virginia’s current tax structure and provides policy recommendations to promote economic growth and job creation. Reforms in personal property taxation, simplifying state business taxes and providing an environment for investment in entrepreneurial endeavors. Capehart is quick to point out that a “perfect tax system” does not exist, but argues a “fairer” tax system is possible with the right amount of time, deliberation, political will and commitment to “real tax reform.”
Erik Root's book, Sons of the Fathers explores the Virginia Slavery Debate of 1831–1832, conducted in the House of Delegates. This is possibly the greatest debate to have occurred in any southern state before the Civil War. The speeches in this book provide, for the first time ever, an unedited version of that debate where many of the sons of America's Founders deliberated over the necessity of emancipating the slaves in Old Dominion.
This volume of original research contains specific policy reform proposals for promoting prosperity in West Virginia. The authors present the case for why state policy should focus more heavily on promoting long-run economic growth. The authors review the scientific evidence on which policies best promote growth and conclude that a policy climate consistent with capitalism, or 'economic freedom,' is the best way to accomplish growth and higher living standards. These policies work because they result in increased capital formation, higher labor productivity, and reduced levels of wasteful rent-seeking and lobbying activity. This volume concludes with a set of specific growth-oriented policy reforms that address the broad spectrum from tax policy to legal reform to the security of private property rights. We hope that readers of this volume will come away with a better understanding of capitalism's true potential to generate long-run economic progress.
This book fills a long neglected hole in American history and political thought. The debate over emancipation in 1829-32, and the success of the pro-slave interests in these debates paved the way for the development of the positive good thesis that was articulated and popularized by John C. Calhoun. These debates were to become a bellweather for the union.