Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reminder To Elites: Bastille Day Is Coming Up

Piketty's Wealth Tax is Real, and It Works
Estate and inheritance taxes are the best tools we have to reduce wealth and income inequality over the long term.
"Not surprisingly countries that reduced or removed inheritance taxes saw the most rapid rise in inequality since the 1980s. Below I use the data from Alvaredo, Atkinson, Piketty and Saez's World Top Incomes Database to show this relationship: OnePercent-660x252 The top 1% share of income shoots up in the 1980s in the UK, US and Australia, while staying steady in France, and also Germany (at least till the late 1990s). Once again the political tide is in favour of taxing wealth. The economic debate, however, is settled. Wealth taxes reduce inequality. Most countries already implement taxes on wealth to some degree, either through annual or inheritance taxes, and have institutional mechanisms in places to administer the them. The sceptics do raise an important political question, but we should learn from history and see that democratic processes, in which economists play a part, can provide avenues for change."

Increase marginal income taxes and marginal estate taxes and treat investment income as ordinary income, and this will sort itself out over time without violent upheaval.  Bastille Day is just around the corner though, for those wondering about the alternative.

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