Attorney, tax historian and author

Images - Charles Adams
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Laissez Faire Books
"Adams (b. 1930) is an independent scholar and tax consultant. He's the author of Fight, Flight and Fraud: The Story of Taxation (1982), For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization (1993) and Those Dirty Rotten Taxes: The Tax Revolts that Built America (1998)."


Cato Institute, Adjunct scholar (1996-1998)
Mises Institute, Adjunct Scholar (-2012)


"Bad Money Drives Out Good", Future of Freedom, Dec 2003
Explains Gresham's Law, recounting how Queen Elizabeth I restored pure silver coinage and how the Romans debased the Greek silver drachma
"It was formulated by Sir Thomas Gresham to explain to Queen Elizabeth I what was happening to the English shilling. ... Henry VIII, had been adulterating the English shilling ... by replacing 40 percent of the silver in the coin with base metals ... Of course it was discovered and this 'bad money' drove out the pure silver shillings then in circulation. "
Related Topics: Gold Standard, Money
Lincoln's Presidential Warrant to Arrest Chief Justice Roger B. Taney: 'A Great Crime' or a Fabrication?, 5 Jan 2004
Examines the evidence that Lincoln signed a warrant to arrest Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney
"Frederick S. Calhoun, the Chief Historian for the United States Marshal's Service, ... recently wrote a 200 year history of Federal Marshals, entitled, The Lawmen: United States Marshals and their Deputies, 1789–1989 ... This ... gives a detailed account of an arrest warrant, signed by President Abraham Lincoln ... to arrest the Chief Justice of the United States, Roger B. Taney ... And so the case stands, the Presidential warrant to arrest the Chief Justice is on solid ground. It represents just one more tough nut the apologists and gate keepers have to live with; it cannot be swept under the rug, so to speak, as a fabrication."
The Future of an Illusion: Kerry's Tax Policy, 21 Sep 2004
Discusses presidential candidate John Kerry's proposal to tax "the rich" and provides several historical examples of how the wealthy avoid being affected by higher rates
"One of Sigmund Freud's most interesting books was entitled The Future of an Illusion. Freud was talking about the illusion the infant has about its parents, who seemed to be so all-powerful. That unique title seems to fit John Kerry and the Democratic Party's call for increased taxes on those earning over $200,000, and thereby raise new revenues for the government to spend – in reality, that is an illusion. ... If ABC's George Stephanopolous had known his tax history, he could have nailed Kerry on his planned soak the rich tax strategy and left the Democrats scampering for some way out of this political folly."
The Rocky Road of American Taxation, Mises Daily, 15 Apr 2006
Adapted from the author's For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization; examines tax resistance in colonial America up to the Jefferson presidency
"No modern revolution was deeper rooted in taxation than the revolt of the Thirteen Colonies in British North America. British taxation not only caused the revolution, but perhaps most important, it acted as a unifying force in the colonies. The once disorganized and squabbling colonies rallied around the cause of taxation without consent, took up arms against the British ... We can now put in historical context Jefferson's comment that it was good medicine for government to have a rebellion every twenty years or so. In the course of his lifetime there had been almost a dozen rebellions he was acutely aware of."
What Nat King Cole Would Have Told Martha Stewart, 12 Mar 2004
Comments on the Martha Stewart insider trading case and counsels on the advisability of never talking to government agents
"[Nat King Cole's] attorney instructed him to tell the feds, if they contacted him: 'I will sing for you, but if you want to talk, you will have to talk with my attorney.' ... Martha could have told the feds, 'I will bake you a pie.'"

Books Authored

Fight, Flight and Fraud: The Story of Taxation, 1982
Related Topic: Taxation
For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization, 1993
Related Topic: Taxation
Those Dirty Rotten Taxes: The Tax Revolts that Built America, 1998
Related Topic: Taxation
When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession, 2000