Saturday, February 25, 2006

welcome to my blog

This is the first post in my new blog, "From Milan to Mumbai," which I am inaugurating today. The title is derived from the name of my most recent article on progressive taxation and social justice in Italy, Israel, India and other countries (I couldn't think of a large Israeli city that started with "M," and the title would have been too long, anyway). The name also reflects the international and comparative emphasis that I would like the blog to have, the breaking down of national barriers being after all one of the main purposes of this sort of medium. Information about myself, and my interests, is available in the header and profile sections.

I see this blog as having three principal purposes. The first is to provide insightful or at least readable commentary on major developments in international and comparative taxation, a subject (especially the latter) which is largely undeveloped in American academia. I'll move from country to country, starting with some of the ones I'm more familiar with, and try to keep my readers informed about the developments in taxation and fiscal policy at each location. As a general rule, I'm more interested in "big picture" issues of tax fairness and politics than technical matters like the definition of capital gain or the treatment of consolidated groups (you can get this information from commercial publishers pretty easily, anyway). I'll also try to provide as many links as possible to original source materials in the countries in question, so--even if you hate my commentary--you'll find the visits useful, anyway.

The second purpose is to promote an academic discussion of antisemitism, racism, islamophobia and similar subjects in a way that cuts across the usual disciplinary lines. It is my conviction that these various forms of discrimination, at both an ideological and practical level, have a great deal more in common than commonly realized, and that there is a great deal that scholars of each different phenomenon can learn from the others but usually goes unnoticed. For example, both the Nuremberg Laws and the Italian Race Laws (beginning in 1938) had a "core" of anti-miscegenation rules and a "periphery" of professional, property, and other limitations that were in many ways similar to the American Jim Crow and South African apartheid laws, the numerous differences in historical and political circumstances notwithstanding. Contemporary accusations against Muslims (too fanatical, too many children, too many foreign loyalties) are surprisingly similar to those against Jews in the 1930s, 1940s, and today. By promoting a serious interdisciplinary discussion, and avoiding feelgood aphorisms, I hope to contribute to a more profound appreciation of these issues.

Third and last, I will offer commentary on contemporary legal and public policy issues from a politically incorrect but not necessarily conservative position. My hope is to balance some of the predictable liberalism in the legal academy without lapsing into the "they're out to get us" style of some right-leaning commentators. I'll try to keep the rantings to a minimum, although sometimes rantings are called for.

A couple of ground rules: I have set the blog up to receive comments (it would be a pretty one-sided discussion without them) although the comments will be moderated to prevent, well, the kind of comments I would probably write if I were reading somebody else's blog). I am happy to receive comments in Italian, Hebrew, French or other languages although I will write everything in English. (I commenti in italiano vengono particolarmente accolti, pero' non posso garantire che capiscano gli altri!) I will try to respond to anything reasonable and even some things that aren't, in the interest of promoting a full and open exchange.

Welcome to my blog.


At 5:06 PM, Anonymous D Joseph said...

Congtratulations on your doing this. Best, Donald

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very attractive Blog with ambitious interests.

Good luck. I'll bookmark.

Best, hullprof


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