Thursday, May 14, 2020

Rutger Bregman - The neoliberal era is ending. What comes next?

The best article I've read for a long while. It lifted my spirits in these gloomy times.

In a crisis, what was once unthinkable can suddenly become inevitable. We’re in the middle of the biggest societal shakeup since the second world war. And neoliberalism is gasping its last breath. So from higher taxes for the wealthy to more robust government, the time has come for ideas that seemed impossible just months ago.

Within a couple of years, Zucman became one of the world’s leading tax experts. In his book The Hidden Wealth of Nations (2015), he worked out that $7.6tn of the world’s wealth is hidden in tax havens. And in a book co-authored with Emmanuel Saez, Zucman calculated that the 400 richest US Americans pay a lower tax rate than every single other income group, from plumbers to cleaners to nurses to retirees.

The young economist doesn’t need many words to make his point. His mentor Piketty released another doorstopper in 2020 (coming in at 1,088 pages), but Zucman and Saez’s book can be read in a day. Concisely subtitled “How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay,” it reads like a to-do list for the next US president.

The Correspondent

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