The history of tax is also one of conflict, danger and upheaval.The purpose of the state has always been to protect the population from internal and external dangers. And that is from where it derives its legitimacy. Now it is in the nature of things that wars and other crises devour enormous financial resources that have to be borne by the general public. In such moments, rulers often get creative and temporarily introduce new measures to meet the costs arising from war or the fight against epidemics. In many cases, however, these new forms of taxation remain in place and are not, after all, of such a provisional nature as once claimed. In this piece, I will discuss the longevity of provisional taxation and use the Swiss direct federal tax, which has its origins in the military tax of the First World War, as an illustration.
COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of how our world functions today. Wearing masks has become the new “normal” and could be considered a mandatory accessory. However, how did states manage to make medical products available on a large scale? This podcasts discusses how COVID-19 has changed trade and tariffs of medical supplies and how this can have an impact on medical care.