Taxation and Literary History, or Who Killed John Keats?

What can an English professor teach us about economics?

Apparently a metric ass ton.

Prof. Paul Cantor describes how window taxes and stamp taxes were used by government to keep people in the dark both literally and figuratively.

In this shocking exposé of government tyranny, the good professor demonstrates how window taxes limited the number of windows in homes which in turn limited the available light for reading. In a day and age before electric lights, natural daylight was essential for reading and work.

On top of window taxes restricting people’s access to information, the good professor also demonstrates how taxes on paper were used by the major newspapers of the day to stifle competition. These taxes on paper were also promoted by government because government wanted to limit the number of critical voices against them.

There is so much juicy stuff in this lecture that I would be doing it a disservice to continue trying to describe it.

This lecture on historical literature and economics starts off a little slow but by the end it will have you begging for more.