The origin of the State lies in association for purposes of defence and to meet common fiscal needs. These two factors endow the State with its distinct status as an association in law. Hence it is the most serious deficiency of our whole body of social science that we lack a theory of financial sociology and that the problems of public finance remain without sociological foundation. Only sociology can show how social conditions determine public needs and the manner of their satisfaction by more direct or more indirect means, and how ultimately the pattern and evolution of society determine the shaping of the interrelations between public expenditure and public revenue. A community’s expenditure and revenue cannot in the long run be considered separately. They have so close a reciprocal functional relationship that we may say: Tell me how and whence you acquire your revenue, and I shall tell you what your expenditure budget must look like. The same applies in reverse: Tell me what you want to spend your money on, and I shall tell you by what means you will get the required revenue, what classes of society you must draw upon and the size and kind of administrative apparatus you will need therefor. The mechanism of mutual interdependence between expenditure and revenue ought to be the primary problem of the science of public finance; but although frequent tentative beginnings were made in this direction, they were never followed up consistently.
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