Piketty and Wealth Taxes
This entry examines issues related to the definition, assessment and deployment of an annual progressive tax on corporate and individual financial (e.g., stocks, bonds, insurance, bank deposits) and nonfinancial (e.g., real estate, art, literature) assets or wealth.
Thanks to the brilliant treatise by Piketty (2014), wealth is beginning to get the attention it deserves as an important determinant of the quality of people’s lives. Following Piketty, I use the terms “wealth” and “capital” “interchangeably, as if they were perfectly synonymous,” allowing that alternative views are also workable. For our purposes, the following sketch of certain aspects of his research will suffice. “National wealth” may be defined as “the total market value of everything owned by the residents and government of a given country at a given point in time,...
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