Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes Hardcover – January 16, 2003
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The truth is, economic disparity has widened since the Reagan/Bush/Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and if nothing is done -- or worse, the tax burden is further shifted onto the poor as has been proposed -- then the results may mimic the last time economic disparity was this bad, in the late 1920s.
There's a lot of good information in this book, and it tries very hard to be fair to both sides of the debate. It is not however the best organized book I've ever read, jumping around from topic to topic within chapters and having no overall arc to the organization. The first chapter is a bramble of statistics, dollar amounts and percentages without a single chart to illustrate them. The middle of the book gets easier, but the book does not finish up with any grand conclusions. It could have been more fun but that does not detract from its importance.
I have been a tax accountant for over 25 years, with a professional interest in this subject, and I learned a great deal!
It is not hard to agree with the conclusion of the book in light of two facts. First, one of the authors is Bill Gates, Sr - the father of Microsoft's founder. Since abolishing the of an estate tax stands to benefit his son, one would think he would love it. Second, the book comes after a large group of millionaires and billionaires petitioned against "wholesale repeal of the estate tax" (p. 1), suggesting that there is wide support for the tax out there. Third, in the Foreword to the book Paul Volcker, ex-Chairman of the Fed, agrees with the book, although he cautions that budget deficits have spending and revenue sides to them. Despite the Laffer curve hypothesis, eliminating estate taxes simply reduces tax revenue and redistributes the tax burden toward the middle class. The estate tax law has a long history, lined by supporters and detractors on both sides.
A "showdown" is looming in the horizon, because supporters of the abolition of the estate tax seem to ignore that private wealth depends on the commonwealth, so that the rich, just like everyone else, owe society something. To be worthy an American is to care about others, especially the less fortunate and children other than your own. Thus a fair distribution of the equality of opportunities is the foundation of American democracy, and estate tax revenues have long played a significant role in this. In fact, it has prevented the emergence of an aristocratic dynasty.
There is a lot to like about this book, but too many words, like too many cooks, spoil the broth. Highly recommended!!
National Wealth Accounting and Baseball Player Exports: Economic Implications for Performance[...]
Economic Versus Non-Economic Dimensions of the Well-being of Nations [...]
Modeling Determinants of Income in Embedded Economies [...]
Quotable Arthur Schopenhauer. [...]