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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 8 / 2006 (503)

Sustainable development at tax-deductible costs or how to assure sustainable development by one’s way of living

Willem Adrianus de Bruijn

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that an imperative demand for an existence in harmony with Nature is created when the costs incurred for such an existence can be deducted from taxable income. All reasonable consumers who pay income taxes will then be driven to buy tax-deductible products. Producers will have to satisfy this demand. They will also have to justify their products’ characteristics, which assure sustainable development and to identify the costs which are associated with these qualities. The consumer needs to know which percentage of the purchase price he paid corresponds with the environmental cost free quality of the merchandise, in order for him to deduct the consequent amount from his taxable income. The theory underlying the deductibility of costs of living from taxable income is based on the following three assumptions: The goal of development is constantly determined by the purchases of consumers. Currently, the only goal with which consumers spend their income seems to be the one of consuming more. The recurring ecological crises reveal that it is impossible to continue to consume more of limited resources without eventually exhausting them. One of the functions of the consumer in the economy is to maintain a way of living which assures sustainable development. The principle of efficiency of economy, according to which the efficient place to manage any cost is at the source of the revenues which costs sustain. This paper also presents a practical and feasible application of our ideas. The creation of a way of living qualifies as research if it is achieved within the context of a scientific project with the cooperation of, in particular, academic institutions. Such a project could be operated within the context of the UNECE 1998 Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, signed by Romania on 25 June 1998 and already ratified by this country on 11 July 2000. The application of our theory will lead consumers and producers to pursue an optimum efficiency in the use of resources absorbed in ways of living. Mankind will thus achieve a development that meanders unhindered within the natural limits of a lush Nature.

Keywords: tax-deductible costs of living; income from natural resources; integrity of Nature; environmental cost free production; black market abolition.

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