The Trouble With Taxing Wealth

Around the world, governments in recent decades have sought to lighten the burden on capital by reducing taxes on dividends, capital gains, corporate profits and wealth. The motivation is straightforward: more capital means more investment, higher productivity and faster growing wages. Capital is also highly mobile: Tax it too much, and it will go elsewhere, undermining growth.

Massachusettes senator and Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren has broken with that consensus by proposing a tax of 2% on net worth. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed tax on net worth seems like a nearly surgical strike at inequality, but it may not be efficient.

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