Tax the Rich

Apart from doxxing bloggers, the New York Times is known for their rich visualizations. The one in this article on the average tax rate paid by the rich in the US is not disappointing.

The gist is this: tax rates for the rich have fallen while tax rates for the poor have risen. We all know this. But seeing it with your own eyes, is quite a different thing. What is especially puzzling is that we all take this situation for granted and are much less enraged about it then we should. It used to be different:

By the middle of the 20th century, the high-tax advocates had prevailed. The United States had arguably the world’s most progressive tax code, with a top income-tax rate of 91 percent and a corporate tax rate above 50 percent.

And we can simply do that again.

But history shows that serious attempts to collect more taxes usually succeed.

Ask yourself this: If efforts to tax the super-rich were really doomed to fail, why would so many of the super-rich be fighting so hard to defeat those efforts?

Finding the optimal form of taxation is of course a big challenge. Personally, I would favor an inheritance tax to minimize distortions. But for the record: the stark inequality we see in so many rich nations today is not outside our control. We can and should change it.

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