Sunday, October 20, 2019

Tax the Rich--Especially Their Wealth!

Benjamin Wallace-Wells has an excellent piece up on the New Yorker site on economist Gabriel Zucman, half of the team that wrote the new book The Triumph of Injustice and that advised Elizabeth Warren on her wealth tax proposal. This is very important work and, as the article notes, fundamentally optimistic about what policy can accomplish to tame capitalism. That optimism too too is very important, as I argued in my recent book.
I especially like this conclusion to the article:
“You know,” Zucman said, “when you have the fall of the U.S.S.R., the fall of the Berlin Wall, some people say it’s the triumph of the free-market economy, the end of history, you won’t do better than that. And, especially now, in a globalized, integrated world, there’s no viable progressive platform that’s possible. And the left became discouraged, as it does—you know, ‘This is all a messy failure. It’s game over,’ ” Zucman said. “And now, thirty years later, people are realizing that there are all kinds of contradictions in the way our economies work, and we can do better.” The United States is only four per cent of the global population, he went on, but much of the rest of the world had remade itself in our image thirty years ago, and—if a progressive administration in Washington could implement a wealth tax, and strengthen international co√∂peration for higher corporate tax rates against tax evasion and offshore havens—maybe it would do so again. “You could change the U.S., but you could also change the world,” Zucman said. “Actually, you could be much more radical.”
About this website
After doing more than just about any other economists to describe the powerful effect that accumulated wealth has on global inequality, Gabriel Zucman and his colleagues are now advocating for a solution.

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