Contributions to public policy debates

A progressive wealth tax: the proper way to tax billionaires

Current tax systems fail to tax the very rich adequately, due to income tax avoidance. A progressive wealth tax is a powerful way to address this issue. A tax at a rate of 2% above $50 million and 3% above $1 billion would significantly increase the progressivity of the tax system and generate substantial tax revenue in the United States. A tax at a rate of 10% above $1 billion would reduce the concentration of wealth in the long run.

A global asset registry to regulate capitalism

We need a global asset registry recording the beneficial owners of the world’s financial and real assets. Such a registry would make it possible to not only reduce tax evasion, but also curb money laundering, monitor international capital flows, fight kleptocracy, and better measure inequality.

Stopping profit shifting and tax competition

There is nothing inherent in globalization that requires that the corporate tax should disappear. Tax competition is a choice, but other choices are possible. Any country could unilaterally apportion the global profits (or the global tax deficit) of multinational firms proportionally to where they make their sales. Such a system would put an end to multinationals’ tax avoidance and tax competition.

Regulating tax havens

Sanctions can change the incentives of the firms and countries that facilitate financial crimes. Banks and law firms found helping tax evasion should be put out of business. The United States and the European Union could apply proportional economic sanctions to non-cooperative tax havens. Tax cooperation needs to be put at the center of free-trade talks.

Fixing U.S. inequality

Income and wealth inequality have increased dramatically in the United States since the 1980s, much more than in the rest of the developed world. Policies play a key role in shaping the distribution of economic resources.

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