Should the Tax System Be Used to Reduce Wealth Inequality in the United States?
Wealth is highly concentrated in the United States, with the top 0.1 percent of households holding an estimated 10 to 20 percent of all assets. Concerns about the effects of wealth inequality have spurred some presidential hopefuls to propose new taxes on wealth and unrealized capital gains and increases to the existing estate tax.
This policy debate raises broader issues about wealth inequality and how the tax code could reduce it. The causes, impacts on different groups, and effects of substantial wealth inequality are complex. Would higher taxes on the wealthy help fix the problems caused by wealth inequality?
Jason Furman, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration, and panels of experts will consider the following questions:
What has been the impact of wealth inequality on different groups in the United States?
How does wealth concentration affect politics and public policy?
Would reducing after-tax wealth affect the political power of the wealthy and social and economic divisions across groups?
What are the pros and cons of using the tax system, instead of other government interventions, to reduce wealth inequality?
Jason Furman, Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy, Harvard Kennedy School @jasonfurman