AuthorTopic: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution  (Read 4301 times)

Offline RE

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🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« on: January 23, 2019, 01:14:24 AM »
Should have started this thread some time ago.  Well, better late than never, right?

Kickoff article below.

RE

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/01/22/oxfam-26-billionaires-control-as-much-wealth-as-poorest-half-of-humanity/

Oxfam: 26 billionaires control as much wealth as poorest half of humanity


HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.
—Excerpted—


As global elites gather at Davos
22 January 2019

As members of the world’s financial elite gather today in Davos, Switzerland, for the opening of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a new report by the UK-based charity Oxfam International has highlighted the vast accumulation of wealth at the heights of society, and the accelerating growth of social inequality.

The report showed that last year, the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $900 billion, or 12 percent, while 3.8 billion people—half the world’s population—saw their wealth decline by 11 percent.

Last year, the billionaires increased their wealth by $2.5 billion every day, while a millionaire moved into their ranks every two days.

In the decade since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, governments and financial authorities have imposed its full impact on the backs of the world working class, in the form of stagnant and lower wages and austerity programs that have gutted health and other social services, to name just some of its effects. Meanwhile, wealth has become ever more concentrated. Last year, just 26 people controlled as much wealth as the 3.8 billion people who comprise half the world’s population, compared to 43 people the year before.

Oxfam noted that just 1 percent of the $112 billion fortune accumulated by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, was equivalent to the entire health budget for Ethiopia, a nation of 105 million people.

The Oxfam report found that the top tax rate for the rich in the developed countries plunged from 62 percent in 1970 to 38 percent by 2013, and pointed to the tax cut introduced by US president Trump at the end of 2017, benefiting the wealthy and corporations.
“Open for business!” Brazil’s new head, Jair Bolsonaro, is attending the meeting of vultures at Davos, offering his country for plunder by the international elites that brought him to power.

In developing countries, the top personal tax rate is just 28 percent. In the UK and Brazil, the report found that the bottom 10 percent of the population paid a higher proportion of their income in tax than the top 10 percent.

Tax avoidance is rife. The report revealed that the super-rich were hiding $7.6 trillion from tax authorities, while corporations were holding large amounts of money offshore, depriving developing countries of $170 billion per year in revenue.

As a result, only 4 percent of all tax revenue came from the taxation of wealth.

The report noted that “the rate of poverty reduction has halved since 2013, and that “Extreme poverty is actually increasing in sub-Saharan Africa.”
The top 26 billionaires own $1.4 trillion — as much as 3.8 billion other people

It added that between 1980 and 2016, the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population received only 12 cents in every dollar of global income growth, while the top 1 percent captured 27 cents of every dollar.

A decade ago, the ruling elite’s annual meeting in Davos took place in the wake of the most severe economic and financial crisis, caused by the massive fraud and criminality of the world’s largest financial institutions.

But rather than being sent to jail, the “malefactors of great wealth” were bailed out. Over the next decade, they were provided with trillions of dollars of ultra-cheap money, enabling them to continue their wealth accumulation at an exponential rate.

According to a new report by Bloomberg, the wealth of the 12 richest Davos attendees soared by a combined $175 billion, as the overall wealth of the world’s billionaires grew, in the same period, from $3.4 trillion to $8.9 trillion.

The Bloomberg report highlights the details of this extraordinary growth:

    Mark Zuckerberg increased his wealth from $3 billion a decade ago to $55.6 billion, a rise of 1853 percent.
    Stephen Schwarzman, the head of the hedge fund Blackstone, has seen the assets of his firm rise from $95 billion at the end of 2008 to $457 billion, while his personal wealth has shot up from $2.1 billion to $10.1 billion, an increase of 486 percent.
    The media baron Rupert Murdoch has increased his wealth from $3.2 billion to $15.1 billion, a rise of 472 percent, while Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan, has enjoyed a 276 percent wealth increase, from $0.4 billion to $1.1 billion.

And the list goes on.

The strength, however, of the economic data produced by Oxfam, forms a stark contrast to its prescriptions for dealing with such extreme levels of social inequality. These centre on the development of what it calls a “human economy,” built on different principles from what it calls a “growth economy.”


A composite of world’s most notorious billionaires: Bezos, Gates, Buffet and Zuckerberg.

The “human economy” would provide health care, education and gender equality, and create the best conditions for shared wealth. It could be financed by raising taxes on the world’s wealthiest individuals and corporations, given that just a 0.5 percent increase in taxes on the richest individuals would raise enough money to educate the 262 million children, who currently don’t receive an education, and provide health care that would save 3.3 million people from preventable deaths.

Oxfam, however, has been making such proposals for the past eight years, issuing warnings and calling for a policy switch. But to no avail. Every year the situation worsens, as Oxfam itself acknowledges, and at an accelerating rate.

The scourge of social inequality cannot be ended through futile appeals, made to the very powers that preside over the current system, to change course. They are no more capable of that, than the ancien regime in France, prior to the revolution of 1789, or the czarist autocracy in Russia, before 1917.

The only road to a genuine “human economy” is through the working class taking political power in the socialist revolution, thus ending the dictatorship of private profit and the financial markets. Only in this way can the vast resources created by the working class be utilised to meet the social needs of all.

This is the perspective that must now be advanced in the social and class struggles that are erupting around the world—from auto parts strikes in Mexico, the teachers’ strike in Los Angeles, to the huge struggles of the Indian working class. It requires the building of the world party of socialist revolution, to provide the necessary leadership.

—Nick Beams
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Beams is a senior analyst/correspondent with wsws.org, an organisation affiliated with the Social Equality Party, a Marxian formation the author favors as an instrument for world social change.
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Offline Eddie

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2019, 04:24:18 AM »
Oxfam's methodologies are highly questionable. Their little yearly media bombs are fairly misleading, if you read for comprehension. Let it suffice to say that Oxfam is an organization devoted to globalism and all that means.

Here's a fair critique.


Are 26 billionaires worth more than half the planet? The debate, explained.
It’s complicated!

By Dylan Matthews@dylanmattdylan@vox.com  Jan 22, 2019, 3:00pm EST



Here’s a wild statistic: The 26 richest people on earth in 2018 had the same net worth as the poorest half of the world’s population, some 3.8 billion people.

That statistic, which comes from the charity group Oxfam, is a bit of an annual tradition. Every year, to mark the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland — that yearly convocation of the world’s richest and most self-important plutocrats — Oxfam puts out a statement that “the top [X] people have the same amount of wealth as the bottom” half, as the Center for Global Development’s Maya Forstater and Vijaya Ramachandran once generalized it. In 2018, X was equal to 26, and as it does every year, the stat went viral.

This year, Oxfam’s report added another shocking stat. The report also claims that 2,200 billionaires worldwide saw their wealth grow by 12 percent (which is eminently believable), even as the poorest half saw its wealth fall by 11 percent (which is a bit harder to believe at a time when global poverty is consistently falling).

Oxfam’s “the top X people have the same wealth as the bottom half” claim has received plenty of scrutiny in the past from folks like Forstater and Ramachandran, Felix Salmon, Chris Giles, and Vox’s Ezra Klein. Critics note that the Oxfam data includes heavily indebted people in the rich world (like a medical resident with med school debt) as among the poorest people on Earth, which distorts the results. Oxfam for its part has responded forcefully to the criticism. But the claim that the poorest people in the world have seen their wealth fall has gotten less scrutiny.

In both cases, it’s worth understanding a little better what the Oxfam data does and does not say, as well as reviewing other data on the state of global inequality. Oxfam is absolutely right that the rich are getting much richer — but the world’s poorest people are getting richer too.

The “rich ultra-poor” problem
Wealth inequality is harder to measure than income inequality for a simple reason: A lot of people have negative wealth. In rich countries, it’s fairly common for people to have negative net worth when their student loans, credit card debt, underwater mortgages, and the like are taken into account. (Income can be negative too, of course — businesses that post losses have negative income, for instance — but it’s not as common.)

So in the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report — which Oxfam uses as its primary data source on the bottom half’s wealth — one observes a strange phenomenon: The bottom 10 percent of the global wealth distribution contains a bunch of North Americans and Europeans, whereas the next 10 percent contains barely any:

 Global wealth report 2018
Compare the share of the 10th decile (on the left-most end of the chart) in North America and Europe to the 20th decile directly to the right. Credit Suisse
That’s because Americans with massive medical school debt, or tens of thousands in credit card debt, or (to use the president as an example) tons of debt from failed hotel, casino, and airline businesses wind up in the bottom decile. Some of those people — like the person in credit card debt — might be legitimately struggling. But Donald Trump was not, in any sense relevant to living standards, one of the poorest people on earth when his net worth went negative in the 1990s. You have to be very rich to get that poor.

And sure enough, in 2015, Oxfam’s Nick Galasso conceded that the database they use included 158 million Americans and Europeans in the bottom decile that year.

Galasso offered two defenses for using the data in this way:

While there are high-debt but objectively pretty well-off Americans and Europeans in the bottom decile, they’re only 23 percent of that group; most of it is comprises people in poor countries who are struggling.
If you remove the bottom decile entirely from the bottom half of the distribution, you get a similar picture. As he wrote in January 2015, in 2014 “[t]he 2.8 billion people making up deciles 2-5 … collectively own a mere one percent of global wealth, about $2.6 trillion. That’s about the same amount of wealth owned by the richest 147 billionaires in the world.” 147 is a bigger number than Oxfam’s usual X amount, because all that negative net worth in the bottom decile has been excised, but it’s still a startlingly small number.
Those are both fair defenses, I think. It’s not true that the bottom decile is just fake-poor people in the rich world, and it’s true that global wealth inequality is massive.

But as the Center for Global Development’s Forstater and Ramachandran noted, Oxfam’s defense smuggles in something interesting: The richest 147 billionaires in the world control about 1 percent of global wealth. That’s way, way more than the 0.000002 percent of the world’s population they represent, but it’s not the case that a small handful of billionaires control most of the world’s wealth.

What does appear to be true is that a small (in global perspective) number of millionaires control a shocking share of the world’s wealth, as this graphic from the Credit Suisse report illustrates:

 Global wealth pyramid according to Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse
42 million people, or 0.8 percent of the world’s population, have net worths in excess of $1 million. That group — roughly the global 1 percent — controls 44.8 percent of the world’s wealth. So it really is true that a pretty small number of people control nearly half the world’s wealth. It’s just a bigger small number of people than Oxfam’s reports tend to emphasize.

The falling wealth of the bottom half
The more shocking part of the latest Oxfam report, to me, was the contention that the bottom half’s wealth fell by 11 percent, whereas a few thousand billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12 percent.

The latter isn’t too surprising — billionaire net worths tend to be bound up in individual companies’ stocks and are thus incredibly volatile; Jeff Bezos alone gained $24 billion in 2018 — but the idea that the bottom half’s wealth fell by 11 percent seemed odd to me. It seemed curious to some development economists on Twitter, too:


Noah Smith

@Noahpinion
 · Jan 21, 2019
 This tweet may have 1000s of retweets, but it's not really the case that "the few are monopolizing progress".

No, we don't really know how to measure the wealth of the global poor. And the benefits of economic growth are definitely still flowing to poor people in poor countries.


Jonah Rexer
@xtrexer
Half the world’s population getting 11% poorer in a single year (2018, as claimed) would imply a global economic catastrophe the likes of which we’ve basically never seen. People need to think about reasonable magnitudes before repeating made up stats

40
11:28 AM - Jan 21, 2019
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See Jonah Rexer's other Tweets
Laura Rusu, Oxfam’s policy and campaign media manager in DC, told me that the group isn’t sure why they observed such a large fall in the bottom half’s net worth. “We don’t have an explanation,” she says. “We’ve been grappling with that. We have hypotheses.”

I’m not entirely sure either, but I have an alternative hypothesis. The Credit Suisse report, upon which Oxfam relies, relies not on purchasing power parity (PPP) — a statistical tool that economists use in comparing currencies when what matters is how much stuff the currency can actually buy — but on exchange rates, which fluctuate often on a global market. The latest Credit Suisse report also does some calculations using smoothed exchange rates, which reduces volatility, but nonetheless prefers exchange rates to PPP throughout.

When the Financial Times’s Chris Giles looked into a similar claim Oxfam made in 2016, he concluded that this exchange rate methodology accounted for the claimed fall in wealth of the bottom half of the distribution. When the US dollar becomes more valuable relative to domestic currencies, this shows up as a wealth decline even when there hasn’t been a decline in living standards.

And sure enough, in 2018 the US dollar appreciated against the Nigerian naira, against the South African rand, and against the Indian rupee; given how populous those countries alone are, and how poor their populations are, it seems very possible that currency appreciation accounts for much or all of the decline. That’s especially true given that the Credit Suisse report came out in October, before the dollar hit a bunch of setbacks.

I’ve reached out to Credit Suisse’s research team to see how much the bottom half’s wealth would have changed absent any currency fluctuations; I’ll update when I hear back.

Oxfam’s Rusu defended the use of exchange rate data rather than PPP, noting, “In the vast majority of countries, but especially in developing and emerging countries, a large proportion of personal wealth is in the hands of the wealthiest among the wealthy; that is, in households located in the first percentiles of the distribution. These individuals tend to have great international mobility and tend to move their assets across borders frequently.” In that context, what matters is their international purchasing power, and measuring that in actual dollar values makes sense.

But this defense doesn’t really hold when analyzing the bottom half of the wealth distribution, or considering why the bottom half’s wealth might have fallen according to the Credit Suisse data.

The bigger picture
It’s worth stepping back from the specifics of the Oxfam numbers to try to answer the bigger claim that the Oxfam statistics gesture toward: Are the rich getting richer as the poor get poorer?

The short answer is that the rich are definitely getting way richer — and it’s a problem — but it’s nonetheless also true that the world’s poorest people are getting less poor. You can see the latter phenomenon in a variety of statistics, not least the World Bank’s estimates of how many people live on less than $1.90 a day. This data is based on household surveys, which take years to collect, so it’s out of date at any given time, but economic growth in India, China, and even sub-Saharan African suggests that the progress continued through to the present day:

 Share of population living in extreme poverty, by world region, 1987 to present
Our World in Data
You also see this happening in the so-called “Loch Ness” graph produced early last year by a team of economists — led by Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, and the famous inequality research trio Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman:

 The new elephant graph, using latest 2018 data
World Inequality Report 2018
The chart shows how each percentile of the global income distribution saw its incomes increase from 1980 to 2016. There’s a bulge at the left, with people in poor emerging market economies seeing their incomes rise by 100 to 125 percent over those 36 years, modest income growth in the middle (including the poor and middle class in the US and Western Europe), and then skyrocketing growth for the global 1 percent, and especially the global 0.001 percent and global 0.0001 percent.

In other words, what you think is happening is happening: The rich really are getting preposterously rich. And there’s a real argument to be made — the political argument that Oxfam’s statistic is meant to make — that making taxes more progressive and directing the funds to, say, cash payments to poor households would lead to faster poverty reduction than has occurred under the current system. One analysis suggests that up to 50 percent of global extreme poverty could be ended if developing countries adopted higher top tax rates.

But the rich getting richer doesn’t preclude the poor getting richer too, and while the middle classes in the US and Europe have seen less income growth than either the poorest people in developing countries or the richest people on earth, the world’s progress against extreme poverty is real and notable. It’s also, I’d argued, unhelpfully obscured by stats like Oxfam’s.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/1/22/18192774/oxfam-inequality-report-2019-davos-wealth

Here's a critique by a less nuanced critic.

Oxfam's Misleading Inequality Numbers
They pull this PR stunt every year
Monday, January 18, 2016

 Ryan Bourne 


The media is running with Oxfam’s annual "shocking" statistic on wealth. This year "the richest 62 people have the same wealth as poorest 3.6 bn."

But all is not what it seems:

1) The methodology Oxfam used implies there are more poor people in North America than in China.

Sounds counterintuitive, right? The Oxfam claim is made using Credit Suisse’s net wealth figures — which add up people’s assets and then subtract debts. So, some of the poorest people in the world would be those unfortunate souls who graduate from Harvard with law degrees and big loans to repay.

This may be true in a strict statistical sense where poverty is measured materially by net wealth — but is certainly not the understanding of poverty most sane people have. Oxfam’s own chart, for example, shows that over 10 per of those in the bottom global wealth decile live in North America.

2) This methodology almost by construction creates big scary statistics.

The above point speaks to a broader truth. It doesn’t take an advanced mathematician to work out that adding up lots of negatives and zeros (after all there are lots of us, especially my generation, with little in the way of assets) in the lower parts of the distribution exaggerates any comparison with those with big net positive wealth at the top — hence the scary statistic.

Oxfam counters this by calculating the proportions excluding debts, and say that it does not change their results much. But we are still left with the issue that people like me, with few assets but in rich countries, would be considered among the poorest in the world. This shows that what really matters to our understanding of material poverty is incomes — and global income inequality (which Oxfam barely mentions) has fallen over the past three decades.

3) The median age of the global population is between 35 and 39.

Oxfam likes to cite another statistic, which is that the top 1 per cent has a higher net wealth than the bottom half of the distribution. But we know from the lifecycle of asset and debt accumulation owing to demographics that people tend to have little in the way of asset accumulation until well into their working lives. We also know that many of the oldest will live in the very rich countries and be very rich. It is not surprising then that the global net wealth distribution is so skewed — demographics alone is vastly important.

4) Oxfam is inconsistent in how it uses these statistics.

At a global level, Oxfam highlights the level of net wealth inequality. Whenever they use the very same Credit Suisse data to look at the UK, they discuss the trends — i.e. the changes in the levels.

Why are they not consistent and talk about the level of net wealth inequality in the UK? Might it be because the same data shows that most countries have higher net wealth inequality than the UK (on Gini coefficient, top 10% share and top 1% share), which would not fit with Oxfam’s domestic narrative? Might it expose that some of the countries which have bigger welfare states and more redistribution have higher wealth inequality because there is little incentive for the poor to save and accumulate assets?

5) Oxfam — a development charity — is now obsessed with the rich rather than the poor.

One would think that Oxfam as an anti-poverty charity would focus its energies on the vast literature showing the conditions necessary for poverty eradication and the role markets and capitalistic institutions can play in doing so.

Instead Oxfam is obsessed with the global rich — almost implying that the wealth of the rich causes the poverty of the poor. It can do, in some cases — where cronyism is rife. But there is scant evidence this is the important driver of current distributions. And Oxfam implying that it is, whilst perpetuating the fixed pie fallacy, is appalling for a supposed development organization.

6) At home and abroad, Oxfam is now like a one-club golfer: more government is always the answer.

This new report advocates for living wages, curbs on executive pay and many other "progressive" policies. Previously Oxfam has advocated for financial transactions taxes and wealth taxes. These are repeated, with no nuance to show the economic challenges facing different developing countries around the world. Perhaps Oxfam would like to highlight all the successful countries where this sort of agenda has alleviated the absolute living conditions of the poor consistently?

https://fee.org/articles/6-points-about-oxfams-misleading-inequality-numbers/

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Offline RE

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I think we are looking at a Liz-Beto or Beto-Liz Demodope Tciket for 2020.

RE

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/elizabeth-warren-plans-to-propose-a-wealth-tax-on-individuals-with-more-than-50-million/

Elizabeth Warren plans to propose a "wealth tax" on individuals with more than $50 million



By Kate Smith

Updated on: January 24, 2019 / 5:29 PM / CBS News

Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to propose a "wealth tax" on Americans with more than $50 million in an effort to combat inequality in the United States, according to an academic adviser behind the tax. If implemented, the tax would raise $2.75 trillion over a 10-year period, according to a study he conducted.

The proposal would levy a 2 percent tax on individuals with more than $50 million in assets and 3 percent on those with more than $1 billion, according to Emmanuel Saez, an economist from the University of California Berkeley who did research on "progressive wealth taxation" for Warren. The intent of the tax is to "narrow the gap between wealth growth at the top and wealth growth for the middle class," Saez wrote in an email Thursday to CBS News.

"Democracies become oligarchies when wealth is too concentrated," Saez wrote. "A progressive wealth tax is the most direct policy tool to curb the growing concentration of wealth in the United States."

But economists say that taxing assets as opposed to income would be an administrative challenge. High net-worth individuals tend to have their wealth tied up in difficult to value assets, like real estate and private companies, which would make it hard for government officials to determine what individuals owed, said Nicole Kaeding, the Director of Federal and Special Projects at the Tax Foundation, in a telephone interview with CBS News. On top of that, the types of people who would be subject to the tax would be the ones best positioned to avoid it, Kaeding said.

"Individuals with that kind of net worth obviously would have the ability and the capacity to hire high-prices attorneys and accountants to help avoid paying a tax like that," Kaeding said.

Only four industrialized countries — France, Norway, Spain and Switzerland — currently levy a "wealth tax" on their citizens, according to Kaeding.

Saloni Sharma, a spokesperson for Warren, did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment.

Approximately 75,000 households, less than 0.1 percent of the country's population, would be impacted by the potential tax, according to the study by Saez and Gabriel Zucman, another Berkley economist, that the pair sent to Warren on Jan. 18.

"Combining progressive wealth taxation with policies to rebuild middle class wealth is exactly what the United States needs to ensure vibrant and equitable growth for the future," Saez wrote in an email.

Earlier this month, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested a top tax rate of up to 70 percent for wealthy Americans during an interview on "60 Minutes."

Warren's proposal was first reported by the Washington Post.

First published on January 24, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Offline RE

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🤑 Wealth Maldistribution - Tax the LIVING SHIT out of the Rich!
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2019, 01:42:23 AM »
https://www.fool.com/taxes/2019/01/28/elizabeth-warrens-wealth-tax-heres-what-you-need-t.aspx

Elizabeth Warren's Wealth Tax: Here's What You Need to Know
Instead of creating a higher marginal tax rate, this 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is proposing a different way to increase taxes on the rich.
Matthew Frankel, CFP
(TMFMathGuy)
Jan 28, 2019 at 6:33AM


Although the 2020 presidential election is still 21 months away, the list of Democratic candidates is already forming, and we're even getting details on some tax proposals.

Elizabeth Warren recently unveiled a plan for a "wealth tax," which would apply to the richest Americans -- that is, those with more than $50 million in assets. Here's a look at what this would mean and whether it could actually happen.

Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) recently announced her proposal for a wealth tax, which would apply to Americans with more than $50 million in assets.

The tax, which Warren refers to as the "Ultra-Millionaire Tax," would raise $2.75 trillion over a 10-year period, according to economist Emmanuel Saez.

Here's how it would work. Americans with $50 million or more in assets would be assessed a 2% annual wealth tax, while those with $1 billion in assets or more would be assessed a 3% rate.

The plan would also increase funding to the IRS to help combat tax evasion, especially by the wealthy, and would also provide for a one-time tax penalty on people who renounce their U.S. citizenship in order to avoid paying the wealth tax.
Why tax wealth instead of increasing income taxes?

The idea of a wealth tax certainly makes sense to some degree. Currently, the United States only collects federal tax on income. Unfortunately for the IRS, many of the richest households in the nation don't have a lot of it.

Take Warren Buffett for example. The famous investor's net worth is estimated to be about $82.5 billion as I write this. However, the vast majority of Buffett's wealth is in the form of Berkshire Hathaway stock.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Buffett released his 2015 tax return, which showed an income of about $11.6 million and tax paid of $1.8 million. Those are large numbers to most people reading this, but they're minuscule sums compared to Buffett's wealth. In fact, the $1.8 million in tax Buffett paid represents just 0.2% of his wealth. It's no surprise that many critics don't consider this to be "paying his fair share."
Would a wealth tax be practical?

There are also some practical considerations regarding the possible implementation of a wealth tax. For starters, while it's easy to determine someone's income (W-2s, 1099s, etc.), it can be rather difficult to determine the value of someone's assets.

For example, if the majority of an individual's wealth consists of real estate assets, their wealth becomes something of a matter of opinion. One appraiser may value a collection of properties at $45 million, while another may think the same portfolio is worth $50 million.

There's also the question of the tactics people could use to avoid the wealth tax. Warren's proposal has a provision to prevent people from renouncing their citizenship to avoid the tax, but that's far from the only path to reducing wealth (on paper). Could someone with say, $50.1 million in assets, simply give $100,000 away to charity and avoid the tax altogether?

And what happens if someone's wealth isn't easily accessible? For example, what if someone owns a business that's worth over $50 million but doesn't have any other substantial assets? Do they need to sell part of their business to pay the tax, or take out a bank loan for that purpose?

Further, would there be different asset thresholds for married couples and single taxpayers? If not, what's to prevent a married couple with $70 million in assets from divorcing for tax purposes so each spouse would only have $35 million?

To be fair, these are all details that could potentially be worked out. The point is that a wealth tax presents a lot of logistical issues that would make implementation rather complicated.
Could a wealth tax actually be implemented?

It's unclear at this time whether a wealth tax could even legally be implemented in the United States. Since Warren's proposal was made public, there has been considerable debate over its legality. Some have even gone so far as to call the proposal unconstitutional, including James Freeman in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal. Other experts have said that a wealth tax is perfectly legal.

Constitutional or not, Warren's wealth tax proposal is likely to be the subject of intense debate for the next 21 months, and it's unlikely to be the last one we'll hear from Democratic presidential hopefuls anytime soon, as there is more than one potential way to increase taxes on the rich.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution - Tax the LIVING SHIT out of the Rich!
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2019, 05:06:26 AM »
https://www.fool.com/taxes/2019/01/28/elizabeth-warrens-wealth-tax-heres-what-you-need-t.aspx

Elizabeth Warren's Wealth Tax: Here's What You Need to Know
Instead of creating a higher marginal tax rate, this 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is proposing a different way to increase taxes on the rich.
Matthew Frankel, CFP
(TMFMathGuy)
Jan 28, 2019 at 6:33AM


Although the 2020 presidential election is still 21 months away, the list of Democratic candidates is already forming, and we're even getting details on some tax proposals.

Elizabeth Warren recently unveiled a plan for a "wealth tax," which would apply to the richest Americans -- that is, those with more than $50 million in assets. Here's a look at what this would mean and whether it could actually happen.

Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) recently announced her proposal for a wealth tax, which would apply to Americans with more than $50 million in assets.

The tax, which Warren refers to as the "Ultra-Millionaire Tax," would raise $2.75 trillion over a 10-year period, according to economist Emmanuel Saez.

Here's how it would work. Americans with $50 million or more in assets would be assessed a 2% annual wealth tax, while those with $1 billion in assets or more would be assessed a 3% rate.

The plan would also increase funding to the IRS to help combat tax evasion, especially by the wealthy, and would also provide for a one-time tax penalty on people who renounce their U.S. citizenship in order to avoid paying the wealth tax.
Why tax wealth instead of increasing income taxes?

The idea of a wealth tax certainly makes sense to some degree. Currently, the United States only collects federal tax on income. Unfortunately for the IRS, many of the richest households in the nation don't have a lot of it.

Take Warren Buffett for example. The famous investor's net worth is estimated to be about $82.5 billion as I write this. However, the vast majority of Buffett's wealth is in the form of Berkshire Hathaway stock.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Buffett released his 2015 tax return, which showed an income of about $11.6 million and tax paid of $1.8 million. Those are large numbers to most people reading this, but they're minuscule sums compared to Buffett's wealth. In fact, the $1.8 million in tax Buffett paid represents just 0.2% of his wealth. It's no surprise that many critics don't consider this to be "paying his fair share."
Would a wealth tax be practical?

There are also some practical considerations regarding the possible implementation of a wealth tax. For starters, while it's easy to determine someone's income (W-2s, 1099s, etc.), it can be rather difficult to determine the value of someone's assets.

For example, if the majority of an individual's wealth consists of real estate assets, their wealth becomes something of a matter of opinion. One appraiser may value a collection of properties at $45 million, while another may think the same portfolio is worth $50 million.

There's also the question of the tactics people could use to avoid the wealth tax. Warren's proposal has a provision to prevent people from renouncing their citizenship to avoid the tax, but that's far from the only path to reducing wealth (on paper). Could someone with say, $50.1 million in assets, simply give $100,000 away to charity and avoid the tax altogether?

And what happens if someone's wealth isn't easily accessible? For example, what if someone owns a business that's worth over $50 million but doesn't have any other substantial assets? Do they need to sell part of their business to pay the tax, or take out a bank loan for that purpose?

Further, would there be different asset thresholds for married couples and single taxpayers? If not, what's to prevent a married couple with $70 million in assets from divorcing for tax purposes so each spouse would only have $35 million?

To be fair, these are all details that could potentially be worked out. The point is that a wealth tax presents a lot of logistical issues that would make implementation rather complicated.
Could a wealth tax actually be implemented?

It's unclear at this time whether a wealth tax could even legally be implemented in the United States. Since Warren's proposal was made public, there has been considerable debate over its legality. Some have even gone so far as to call the proposal unconstitutional, including James Freeman in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal. Other experts have said that a wealth tax is perfectly legal.

Constitutional or not, Warren's wealth tax proposal is likely to be the subject of intense debate for the next 21 months, and it's unlikely to be the last one we'll hear from Democratic presidential hopefuls anytime soon, as there is more than one potential way to increase taxes on the rich.

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And monkeys will fly out of my butt.

Great idea.....It'll never happen.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline AJ

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2019, 05:10:02 AM »
I love this plan, PLUS reinstitute the Inheritance tax (just call it something catchy like "Zombie taxes" :evil4:). Make it hugely progressive. The ultra wealthy will scream (I hear you Michael Dell) but the people would get behind it.
AJ
Nullis in Verba

Offline knarf

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2019, 05:39:55 AM »
I love this plan, PLUS reinstitute the Inheritance tax (just call it something catchy like "Zombie taxes" :evil4:). Make it hugely progressive. The ultra wealthy will scream (I hear you Michael Dell) but the people would get behind it.
AJ


Me too. She has gone after big corp and their corrupt dealings. She is pretty wealthy. She is contemplating running for president in2020. I may even register to vote if she does.
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING. BACKWARDS!

Offline RE

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2019, 05:49:07 AM »
I love this plan, PLUS reinstitute the Inheritance tax (just call it something catchy like "Zombie taxes" :evil4:). Make it hugely progressive. The ultra wealthy will scream (I hear you Michael Dell) but the people would get behind it.
AJ


Me too. She has gone after big corp and their corrupt dealings. She is pretty wealthy. She is contemplating running for president in2020. I may even register to vote if she does.

Liz Warren is already running.  She is on the Campaign Trail as we text.

RE
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Offline Eddie

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2019, 06:06:36 AM »
I vote her 'Most Likely To Get Hit By A QAnon Inspired Bullet".

Seriously, I'd vote for her on this platform plank...but getting it done would be another kettle of fish altogether, even if she won the election.

What about a tax on corporate wealth,as long as were taxing "persons"?  Goldman alone is worth 50 Billion.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 06:08:53 AM by Eddie »
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Offline Surly1

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2019, 06:33:21 AM »
I vote her 'Most Likely To Get Hit By A QAnon Inspired Bullet".

Seriously, I'd vote for her on this platform plank...but getting it done would be another kettle of fish altogether, even if she won the election.

What about a tax on corporate wealth,as long as were taxing "persons"?  Goldman alone is worth 50 Billion.

Fuckin' Eh.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2019, 08:03:37 AM »
I vote her 'Most Likely To Get Hit By A QAnon Inspired Bullet".

Seriously, I'd vote for her on this platform plank...but getting it done would be another kettle of fish altogether, even if she won the election.

What about a tax on corporate wealth,as long as were taxing "persons"?  Goldman alone is worth 50 Billion.

Doesn't Amazon have a Market Cap of $1 TRILLION 🤑 now?

RE
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Offline Eddie

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2019, 08:18:56 AM »
I vote her 'Most Likely To Get Hit By A QAnon Inspired Bullet".

Seriously, I'd vote for her on this platform plank...but getting it done would be another kettle of fish altogether, even if she won the election.

What about a tax on corporate wealth,as long as were taxing "persons"?  Goldman alone is worth 50 Billion.

Doesn't Amazon have a Market Cap of $1 TRILLION 🤑 now?

RE

Amazon has my vote for "Best Cooked Books of All Time". They never show much of a profit. The market cap is all smoke and mirrors. Bezos owns 16%. I'd be happy to see him pay a bit of wealth tax and leave Amazon alone. I like my Amazon Prime.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2019, 08:27:40 AM »
I vote her 'Most Likely To Get Hit By A QAnon Inspired Bullet".

Seriously, I'd vote for her on this platform plank...but getting it done would be another kettle of fish altogether, even if she won the election.

What about a tax on corporate wealth,as long as were taxing "persons"?  Goldman alone is worth 50 Billion.

Doesn't Amazon have a Market Cap of $1 TRILLION 🤑 now?

RE

Amazon has my vote for "Best Cooked Books of All Time". They never show much of a profit. The market cap is all smoke and mirrors. Bezos owns 16%. I'd be happy to see him pay a bit of wealth tax and leave Amazon alone. I like my Amazon Prime.

Don't forget to use the SMILE.AMAZON.COM subweb and designate the SUSTAINING UNIVERSAL NEEDS FOUNDATION OF BOILING SPRINGS, SC as your Charity organization.  Bezos will then make a contribution to us and it costs you nothing.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Surly1

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2019, 12:24:17 PM »
Don't forget to use the SMILE.AMAZON.COM subweb and designate the SUSTAINING UNIVERSAL NEEDS FOUNDATION OF BOILING SPRINGS, SC as your Charity organization.  Bezos will then make a contribution to us and it costs you nothing.

RE

Wish I had known/been aware of this earlier. I'd have endowed a wing by now.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Re: 🤑 Wealth Maldistribution
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2019, 12:27:52 PM »
Don't forget to use the SMILE.AMAZON.COM subweb and designate the SUSTAINING UNIVERSAL NEEDS FOUNDATION OF BOILING SPRINGS, SC as your Charity organization.  Bezos will then make a contribution to us and it costs you nothing.

RE

Wish I had known/been aware of this earlier. I'd have endowed a wing by now.

I just selected SUN on Amazon. You have to shop through smile.amazon.com for your selected nonprofit to get the credit. You can also install a friendly Amazon-supplied browser extension to help assist.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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