Friday, September 06, 2019

Three quick things about my newly posted international tax article

My newly posted article isn't just about digital service taxes, but also about, e.g., the notions of source and "value creation" in international tax policy, a number of other recently discussed international tax reform proposals, the set of concerns that are sometimes called inter-nation equity, and how one might think about countries' strategic interactions in taxes and trade.

Three quick further things I'll say about it:

1) I can be self-critical (more in my own head than publicly, of course), but at least at present I quite like the piece and feel that it turned out well (albeit, after consuming a lot of sweat equity).

2) I try to model being gracious about acknowledging my intellectual debts to others in the field, including some more junior to myself. Academics are not always as gracious about this as they ought to be.

3) It aims to be a bit "Graetzean," which I mean as a compliment to Michael Graetz. That is, one nice aspect that I have noticed about Graetz's work is his identifying what he felt were important points to emphasize publicly at a given point in time. In other words, his work isn't just analytic, but also aims to steer public debate regarding, e.g., "what we ought to be thinking about / where we ought to be going right now." I try to do that a bit in my new piece - although my effort in this direction, just like any such, may fail to resonate with people who don't happen to share my sense of what the moment calls for. But I came to feel that, if one has some potential influence (however slight it might be, in truth), it's part of one's responsibility, insofar as one is wearing the public intellectual hat, to think about doing good, as one conceives of it. This is something that Graetz has always modeled well.

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