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The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay

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America’s runaway inequality has an engine: our unjust tax system. Even as they became fabulously wealthy, the ultra-rich have seen their taxes collapse to levels last seen in the 1920s. Meanwhile, working-class Americans have been asked to pay more. The Triumph of Injustice presents a forensic investigation into this dramatic transformation, written by two economists who America’s runaway inequality has an engine: our unjust tax system. Even as they became fabulously wealthy, the ultra-rich have seen their taxes collapse to levels last seen in the 1920s. Meanwhile, working-class Americans have been asked to pay more. The Triumph of Injustice presents a forensic investigation into this dramatic transformation, written by two economists who revolutionized the study of inequality. Eschewing anecdotes and case studies, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman offer a comprehensive view of America’s tax system, based on new statistics covering all taxes paid at all levels of government. Their conclusion? For the first time in more than a century, billionaires now pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Blending history and cutting-edge economic analysis, and writing in lively and jargon-free prose, Saez and Zucman dissect the deliberate choices (and sins of indecision) that have brought us to today: the gradual exemption of capital owners; the surge of a new tax avoidance industry; and the spiral of tax competition among nations. With clarity and concision, they explain how America turned away from the most progressive tax system in history to embrace policies that only serve to compound the wealth of a few. But The Triumph of Injustice is much more than a laser-sharp analysis of one of the great political and intellectual failures of our time. Saez and Zucman propose a visionary, democratic, and practical reinvention of taxes, outlining reforms that can allow tax justice to triumph in today’s globalized world and democracy to prevail over concentrated wealth. A pioneering companion website allows anyone to evaluate proposals made by the authors, and to develop their own alternative tax reform at taxjusticenow.org.


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America’s runaway inequality has an engine: our unjust tax system. Even as they became fabulously wealthy, the ultra-rich have seen their taxes collapse to levels last seen in the 1920s. Meanwhile, working-class Americans have been asked to pay more. The Triumph of Injustice presents a forensic investigation into this dramatic transformation, written by two economists who America’s runaway inequality has an engine: our unjust tax system. Even as they became fabulously wealthy, the ultra-rich have seen their taxes collapse to levels last seen in the 1920s. Meanwhile, working-class Americans have been asked to pay more. The Triumph of Injustice presents a forensic investigation into this dramatic transformation, written by two economists who revolutionized the study of inequality. Eschewing anecdotes and case studies, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman offer a comprehensive view of America’s tax system, based on new statistics covering all taxes paid at all levels of government. Their conclusion? For the first time in more than a century, billionaires now pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Blending history and cutting-edge economic analysis, and writing in lively and jargon-free prose, Saez and Zucman dissect the deliberate choices (and sins of indecision) that have brought us to today: the gradual exemption of capital owners; the surge of a new tax avoidance industry; and the spiral of tax competition among nations. With clarity and concision, they explain how America turned away from the most progressive tax system in history to embrace policies that only serve to compound the wealth of a few. But The Triumph of Injustice is much more than a laser-sharp analysis of one of the great political and intellectual failures of our time. Saez and Zucman propose a visionary, democratic, and practical reinvention of taxes, outlining reforms that can allow tax justice to triumph in today’s globalized world and democracy to prevail over concentrated wealth. A pioneering companion website allows anyone to evaluate proposals made by the authors, and to develop their own alternative tax reform at taxjusticenow.org.

30 review for The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    A must-read!! I want to shout this on the Rooftop with a megaphone: our tax system is totally regressive. The wealthy evade taxes. They pay less than their share! This does not have to be the case. We, the middle class and working class, can’t evade taxes and yet we the idiots keep voting for people who let corporations and billionaires escape to tax shelters. The history in this book (though super short) was really fascinating. Hey, guess why our tax system is regressive? It’s the same reason A must-read!! I want to shout this on the Rooftop with a megaphone: our tax system is totally regressive. The wealthy evade taxes. They pay less than their share! This does not have to be the case. We, the middle class and working class, can’t evade taxes and yet we the idiots keep voting for people who let corporations and billionaires escape to tax shelters. The history in this book (though super short) was really fascinating. Hey, guess why our tax system is regressive? It’s the same reason for all the other flaws in our constitution? Did you guess yet? Yup. It’s slavery.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    basically just read this to argue with my d*d

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marks54

    This is an outstanding book and a must read for anyone interested in inequality and options for what to do about it. The authors are economics professors at Berkeley and both work with Thomas Piketty. I had heard from various sources about this work and that it is the best work around right now linking economic theory, comprehensive analysis of available, international comparisons, and some actual wisdom in how to put it all together and say something. After working through it, I agree and highly This is an outstanding book and a must read for anyone interested in inequality and options for what to do about it. The authors are economics professors at Berkeley and both work with Thomas Piketty. I had heard from various sources about this work and that it is the best work around right now linking economic theory, comprehensive analysis of available, international comparisons, and some actual wisdom in how to put it all together and say something. After working through it, I agree and highly recommend the book. The book requires some fortitude to work through, but there is no way to avoid it in serious discussions of taxes and global finance. It is not highly demanding, however and the authors do an excellent job at communicating some arcane material. The book has insights and takeaways in every chapter. Among them include: 1) A nice review of the American tax context - who gets taxed on what and how the current situation of high inequality developed. 2) An explanation of tax dodging and tax evasion and what difference there is between them (less than you might think). This includes the industry that has arisen to advise clients on taxes. 3) A discussion of the international race to the bottom in national corporate tax rates. 4) A review of the evidence linking tax policies to national economic growth (or not). While there is much rhetoric on this, the evidence to back it up is thin. 5) A policy related discussion that emphasizes how there are no iron laws or immutable relations at play in tax policies. People made these policies and people can change them. Claims that changes in tax policy will bring about the end of the world are not well supported by evidence. Offshore earning could in principle be taxed, given a modicum of international cooperation. 6) A comparison between the US and different social welfare states to show how the US differed from Europe in terms of both taxes and the services provided for those taxes. The major differences are that on services like health care and education, while both are provided in the US in Europe, much more of the costs for health care and education are paid for privately in the US while they are paid for by the government in Europe. This makes them akin to privately paid taxes in the US. Including them in the US tax profile immediately makes it clear that the US tax burden is not as low as one would think, the rub being that middle and working class people in the US are much more burdened by such costs. I had not thought about it this way before. The authors provide lots of recommendations and are aware of the political contingencies surrounding tax reform. They also provide lots of online supporting materials, including a website with a tax simulator. This is a relatively short but pithy book that will get a reader to think about tax policies and how they link to broader issues of inequality and political economy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristoffer Berg

    The book contains many impressive new findings on the distribution of the tax burden and some very good tax reform suggestions. It is written more for the general public than tax experts, but it would still have benefitted from fewer comments on current politics and more discussion on the assumptions they make.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Richard Thompson

    I already know too much about taxes and tax avoidance schemes to have found most of the historical and background material to be very informative. I work on a lot of deals where an essential part of the deal structuring is to ensure tax efficiency. Sometimes this is picking a structure designed to put more money in my client's pocket, but more often it is about avoiding tax traps that can destroy legitimate transactions, if the traps are not identified and structured around. This kind of tax I already know too much about taxes and tax avoidance schemes to have found most of the historical and background material to be very informative. I work on a lot of deals where an essential part of the deal structuring is to ensure tax efficiency. Sometimes this is picking a structure designed to put more money in my client's pocket, but more often it is about avoiding tax traps that can destroy legitimate transactions, if the traps are not identified and structured around. This kind of tax planning will always exist, even under a simplified and fairer tax code, and though it can be abused, it is generally totally legitimate. Then there is the other kind of tax planning that is sponsored by some of the biggest law and accounting firms that has no legitimate business purpose and really just boils down to tax evasion It should be stopped. I kept wanting the authors to get to their program. What's the fix? What's the fix? When they finally got there, I thought that they had some pretty good ideas. I liked the idea of taxing multinational corporations based in the US on the difference between US rates and tax haven rates for the parts of their income that get allocated to tax haven countries. I liked the idea of getting a coalition of major countries to tax corporate profits at a minium agreed rate and imposing sanctions on countries that charge less. I liked the idea of charging foreign multinationals tax on their US sales to the extent that their effective international tax rate is less than the agreed international minimum. All of these things seemed to be sensible ways to attack offshore tax shelters that would not require an impossible amount of political will. I'm also good with the philosophy behind their proposals for a wealth tax and for equalizing ordinary income and capital gain rates, though I doubt that either of those things is going to happen at any time in the near future, and I thought that their National Income Tax idea had some good thoughts behind it but was too half baked as presented in the book to be a coherent basis for legislation or national policy. But to be fair to the authors, they did exactly what this kind of book ought to do -- give the background, present some really solid ideas, show how those ideas can be expanded and then give the readers a couple of moonshots to stimulate discussion and further thinking. I spent most of the book nodding my head in agreement, so when I occasionally disagreed, it was like a spirited discussion with a friend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Richard Smyth

    Well researched & well written explanation of how the rich pay proportionally much less tax than low earners Thought provoking insights as to how the tax burden has shifted over the last 50 years from high net worth high earning individuals to the lower paid. I5 also explains how multinationals have used accounting and legal tricks to move profits to low tax jurisdictions. The real issue is that the wealthy control the power to change this but never will because they have so much to lose.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jacobus Cilliers

    A must-read for anyone concerned about inequality in the USA (and for anyone who thinks inequality is not a concern, for that matter). Emmanuel Saez writes exceptionally well, and it is a surprisingly easy read for what should be a boring topic: taxation. The results from his detailed analysis and careful construction of data is shocking: the past three decades of growth have only benefited the top 1% of the US, and the income for the bottom half of the country was flat, or falling. AS a result A must-read for anyone concerned about inequality in the USA (and for anyone who thinks inequality is not a concern, for that matter). Emmanuel Saez writes exceptionally well, and it is a surprisingly easy read for what should be a boring topic: taxation. The results from his detailed analysis and careful construction of data is shocking: the past three decades of growth have only benefited the top 1% of the US, and the income for the bottom half of the country was flat, or falling. AS a result inequality has sky-rocketed, pre-tax. But the most shocking statistics is how regressive taxation has become in the US - a complete reversal from the post-WWII decades where the top marginal tax rate was once over 90%! For the first time ever the average tax rate for the top 0.1% is *lower* than the rest of the population. The culprits? Corporate taxation. The rich get their money from owning capital, but the effective tax rate on capital is has shrunk over tume, due to sophisticated tax evasion and decreasing corporate tax rates. Saez also makes a compelling case for how corporate profits can be taxed, even with creative accounting that allows global companies to book their profits in tax havens: Tax domestic companies a fixed fraction, irrespective of which country their taxes are reported in. Apple reported $10bn in profits in Ireland where the tax rate is 15%, but is domiciled in the US where tax rate is 30%? US government should take the remaining $1.5bn, so their effective tax rate remains 30%. He also convincingly argues that tax evasion is not inevitable, and that lowering corporate tax rates is not the only solution to capital flight: good legislation and strong enforcement can counter it. His arguments for taxing capital at the same rate as income are compelling, for the purpose of reducing inequality and increasing government revenue. But the one short-coming is that he is too dismissive about the other reasons for lower corporate tax rates: stimulating savings and investment. There is a large theoretical literature on this, which he doesn't do any justice in the book. Nonetheless, the fact that the period of the fastest growth in the US (1948 - 1980) also coincided with a period of high corporate tax rates, does lend credence to his claim that other policies have a larger influence on savings and investment.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    This book presents a detailed and meticulously researched analysis of current tax policy in the United States and other modern economies, then suggests how such policies can be changed to support progressive revenue goals. As such it is likely to be largely ignored, which is too bad since it's well-written and clearly represents a lot of thought and effort by the authors. There are a lot of numbers, quite a bit of economic analysis, and a good amount of public policy in this book. I'm enough of a This book presents a detailed and meticulously researched analysis of current tax policy in the United States and other modern economies, then suggests how such policies can be changed to support progressive revenue goals. As such it is likely to be largely ignored, which is too bad since it's well-written and clearly represents a lot of thought and effort by the authors. There are a lot of numbers, quite a bit of economic analysis, and a good amount of public policy in this book. I'm enough of a math, economics, and political science nerd to enjoy wading my way through it all. If you'd rather get just the gist, I recommend this Pitchfork Economics podcast episode, where one of the authors (Zucman) discusses the big ideas. On the other hand, if you're really into the numbers, you can go to the book's companion website at taxjusticenow.org to see all the data and play with your own policy ideas. As for the policy recommendations, it's pretty obvious from the book's title what they are. The tax systems in modern economies need to be more progressive, and need to be structured and enforced in ways that prevent tax dodging by the wealthy. Mainstream politics doesn't seriously address either component of that. On the right, we continue to see support for repeated tax cuts that benefit mostly the wealthy, despite decades of data showing how little this helps the economy and the non-wealthy majority of people. On the left, we see calls for increased rates or new kinds of wealth taxes, but very little of substance related to prevention of tax dodges and reforming of the current regressive tax policies. The reason I say I expect this work to be largely ignored is that emotion matters more than policy in modern politics. Politicians are more interested in making their constituents feel good (and thus more likely to vote) than in acting in those constituents' best interests. The kind of major changes proposed by the authors will attract all sorts of fear-mongering attacks that won't make anyone feel better. Still worth reading the book and thinking about the concepts, though.

  9. 5 out of 5

    James

    Despite the sensationalist title, this is actually a pretty serious book, though Saez and Zucman have strong left-of-center views. The first chapter is the most important, as it presents new data analysis on the share of taxes paid by all income quantiles since 1913. The stark news here is that the very very top, the 0.01 percent, have a lower tax bill than anybody else, largely due to the Trump cuts of the corporate income tax. The rest of the book summarizes earlier research by them and others Despite the sensationalist title, this is actually a pretty serious book, though Saez and Zucman have strong left-of-center views. The first chapter is the most important, as it presents new data analysis on the share of taxes paid by all income quantiles since 1913. The stark news here is that the very very top, the 0.01 percent, have a lower tax bill than anybody else, largely due to the Trump cuts of the corporate income tax. The rest of the book summarizes earlier research by them and others on tax evasion and related issues, and proposes fixes (including a wealth tax). Very well written.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Graeme Newell

    This book really helped me to better understand the history and opportunities of tax policy. Ronald Reagan’s 1980 tax revolt was intended to free Americans from burdensome taxation. Those policies dramatically reduced taxes, but unfortunately, just for one group of Americans - the rich. The author tells a fascinating story of how the most anticipated tax reform movement in recent history transferred a big tax burden on to middle and lower class Americans. Reagan’s vilification of all forms of This book really helped me to better understand the history and opportunities of tax policy. Ronald Reagan’s 1980 tax revolt was intended to free Americans from burdensome taxation. Those policies dramatically reduced taxes, but unfortunately, just for one group of Americans - the rich. The author tells a fascinating story of how the most anticipated tax reform movement in recent history transferred a big tax burden on to middle and lower class Americans. Reagan’s vilification of all forms of taxation transformed tax avoidance into an patriotic act. Paying taxes was no longer an uncomfortable but necessary act of civic duty; it was now a great evil oppressing the nation. It was every American’s duty to fight any form of taxation. This new narrative marked the beginning of an explosion of tax cheating and tax avoidance. Prior to this time, most of the rich begrudgingly paid the high tax rates demanded of them. It was considered every American’s obligation. But Reagan’s tax revolution marked the birth of an accounting metamorphosis and the take-no-prisoners tax avoidance insurrection. Offshore tax sheltering, corporate shell companies and other forms of gymnastic accounting soared to prominence. Paying taxes was for suckers. The first part of Saez’s book chronicles this perfidious transformation. He reveals the ingenious playbook used by accounting rockstars, CFOs and lobbyist to quietly morph America’s tax policy, moving the burden on to the less financially sophisticated - middle and working class people. He chronicles the story of this “greed is good” devolution and how it has shaped the taxation policies we live with today. In the 19th century the super rich (Getty, Carnegie, etc) were seen as robber barons. Today they’re rock stars. Saez does a great job of explaining the whack-a-mole tax avoidance strategies of corporate offshoring and the deviously clever ways gigantic profits are safely harbored in a few poor countries desperate for economic relief. The second part of the book was even more interesting. Saez provides a wonderfully approachable explanation on who foots the bill on different forms of taxation. He lays out who pays what on capital gains, labor taxes, flat taxes and all the myriad forms of taxation that have been tried throughout the ages and around the world. Finally, he lays out a pretty solid plan of action for tax reform. It actually seems like something that might work. This book gave me some real hope that intractable problems like tax reform might be solvable. No question, it will take tremendous political will to achieve but the good news is there appears to be a way forward.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Kilpatrick

    Can't recommend this book enough. Rather than being a Daily Kos-style Hallmark Card Liberal style screed, as one might expect, the authors (who clearly know their subject matter well), lay out a thoughtful, powerful and convincing case using real statistics and historical as well as contemporary real-world examples.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eric Means

    Absolutely worth reading to understand a) how inequality got to the massively messed up place we're in now, b) how it wasn't always this way, and c) how we can absolutely fix the problem, given enough political will.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jökull Auðunsson

    Brilliant data driven investigation of inequality Focused investigation using national income to see just how surprisingly regressive the US tax code is. Stark reminder that tax justice is a decision, and injustice is in no way unavoidable in a globalized world.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Matich

    Not as academic or expansive as Thomas Piketty’s “Capital” - yet it serves as an actionable flashpoint and handbook for progressive candidates such as Warren and Sanders. The writers were even mentioned with disdain in the grotesque Open letter penned by financier Leon Cooperman to Warren; in a recent avalanche of ego bruised billionaire snowflakes. If this book is pissing off the 1%, they are doing something right!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ju187

    An inspiring reading. People need to wake up from the right wing economic brain wash

  16. 5 out of 5

    Masayuki Arai

    persuasive lol

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason Furman

    (I will be doing a longer review in the future and will link to it here.)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    For once this is a book that shows a problem in society but also presents solutions. When I finished I had hope that there was a way beyond our current predicament. Whether the political will exists to address the problem or not is another matter, but there are solutions to our regressive taxation system. There were also many interesting facts in the book that I didn't know, such as the hidden private taxes and the sum of all taxes that show the regressive nature of our taxation system.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Richard Marney

    The authors have made significant contributions to our understanding of the causes and effects of income and wealth inequality. This book is a continuation of that important work. The role of government tax policy since Reagan has transformed America. The county of my youth (1st grade in the last year of the Eisenhower Administration) had high marginal tax rates for high incomes, strong growth, and limited tax game-playing. Whilst there were serious societal problems (most notably, deplorable The authors have made significant contributions to our understanding of the causes and effects of income and wealth inequality. This book is a continuation of that important work. The role of government tax policy since Reagan has transformed America. The county of my youth (1st grade in the last year of the Eisenhower Administration) had high marginal tax rates for high incomes, strong growth, and limited tax game-playing. Whilst there were serious societal problems (most notably, deplorable racial prejudices), limited income and wealth inequality contributed to a broader sense of community and comity lacking in today’s economic and political environment. Causes? The authors present a compelling explanation: changes in tax policy and the explosion of tax game playing driving fundamental transformation in the relative income shares of capital v. labor, and income/wealth distribution, which have resulted in America becoming trapped in an accelerating spiral of intensifying economic inequality and political polarization. The later chapters discuss how to reverse the rot. Good ideas. Their practicality (unless Bernie wins and the Democrats control Congress) questionable, sadly. A worthwhile read. Just don’t get too depressed by the numbers!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Gil Gonçalves

    A very important contribution for the policy debate taking place at the moment, especially considering the ongoing international tax reform negotiations at the OECD level. Zucman and Saez provide well researched data to prove how the tax system in the USA is favouring wealth concentration and how much multinational corporations have been exploiting the current framework and, therefore, undermining national sovereignty when it comes to tax and fiscal policy. Workers are paying their taxes, small A very important contribution for the policy debate taking place at the moment, especially considering the ongoing international tax reform negotiations at the OECD level. Zucman and Saez provide well researched data to prove how the tax system in the USA is favouring wealth concentration and how much multinational corporations have been exploiting the current framework and, therefore, undermining national sovereignty when it comes to tax and fiscal policy. Workers are paying their taxes, small businesses are paying them too, why the hell isn't the top 1%? All things considered, while I am not on board with the proposed confiscatory top bracket, this will certainly be helpful to move the Overton window towards a sane range which allows us to discuss the future of taxation with honesty (but, more importantly, with hope as well).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Becki Iverson

    This book packs a shocking amount of content into an extremely small package. It's the single best thing I've ever seen about American tax policy and wildly overdue. I'm so glad that these economics professors put together this overview, which includes a comprehensive history of tax (particularly income and capital) rates in America, especially over the last 100 years, with detailed charts showing the change over time. It's a stunning visual, demonstrating clearly how our current policy This book packs a shocking amount of content into an extremely small package. It's the single best thing I've ever seen about American tax policy and wildly overdue. I'm so glad that these economics professors put together this overview, which includes a comprehensive history of tax (particularly income and capital) rates in America, especially over the last 100 years, with detailed charts showing the change over time. It's a stunning visual, demonstrating clearly how our current policy completely inverts historical precedent to the detriment of American society. I cannot possibly emphasize how vital this information is to current taxation, benefit and funding debates and the implications it has for 90%+ of American society. This is required reading for all people of voting age. It's very easy and short to read, so make sure to pick it up.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    Brave, revolutionary & essential!!! Long live French economists! This is how inequality can be reversed. Contains powerful remedies for tax avoidance & evasion including multinationals & off-shore tax dodges - solutions that will work with or without international cooperation. Plans & justifications for complete overhaul of our antiquated & inadequate system of government funding along with suggestions for welfare state expenditures. This is great stuff. I cannot be too Brave, revolutionary & essential!!! Long live French economists! This is how inequality can be reversed. Contains powerful remedies for tax avoidance & evasion including multinationals & off-shore tax dodges - solutions that will work with or without international cooperation. Plans & justifications for complete overhaul of our antiquated & inadequate system of government funding along with suggestions for welfare state expenditures. This is great stuff. I cannot be too enthusiastic. Also included in an open source website: https://taxjusticenow.org/#/

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steve Nolan

    Pretty great tax tidbits! Like how regressive VATs are, that's fun. Didn't know that! Suck it, Andrew Yang! Some really great proposals that you literally never hear about. (Like taxing corporations EXTRA here if they move profits to offshore tax havens that have tiny tax rates.) And not that this book is the first to bring it up, but poor people really do pay a lot of taxes. (The Romney "47% are takers" line being used to exemplify that really irked me, especially when compared to the opening Pretty great tax tidbits! Like how regressive VATs are, that's fun. Didn't know that! Suck it, Andrew Yang! Some really great proposals that you literally never hear about. (Like taxing corporations EXTRA here if they move profits to offshore tax havens that have tiny tax rates.) And not that this book is the first to bring it up, but poor people really do pay a lot of taxes. (The Romney "47% are takers" line being used to exemplify that really irked me, especially when compared to the opening lines of the book - Trump talking about how not paying income taxes makes him, "smart.")

  24. 4 out of 5

    William Wallo

    A very provocative read. The authors deviate from conventional definitions of income and tax incidence, which has upset many tax experts and economists, but the arguments they make are compelling and I find their conclusions reasonable. The only reason I won't this book five stars is due to some discrepancies that were identified in their data. While the updated data does not change their conclusions - the extremely wealthy are still paying proportionately less in taxes than the rest of A very provocative read. The authors deviate from conventional definitions of income and tax incidence, which has upset many tax experts and economists, but the arguments they make are compelling and I find their conclusions reasonable. The only reason I won't this book five stars is due to some discrepancies that were identified in their data. While the updated data does not change their conclusions - the extremely wealthy are still paying proportionately less in taxes than the rest of Americans - this flaw undermines the credibility of their otherwise convincing arguments.

  25. 5 out of 5

    John H. Shuler

    Everyone knows that there is a vast inequality in the distribution of income and wealth in the US. What this book does is explain the role that taxation plays in building this inequality, and what we can do to begin to reverse it through practical policies that would not only restore a semblance of balance, but also fund universal healthcare and college education, paid family leave, free preschool, retirement security, and other social programs... without the need to change our current market Everyone knows that there is a vast inequality in the distribution of income and wealth in the US. What this book does is explain the role that taxation plays in building this inequality, and what we can do to begin to reverse it through practical policies that would not only restore a semblance of balance, but also fund universal healthcare and college education, paid family leave, free preschool, retirement security, and other social programs... without the need to change our current market based economy. Everyone who votes should read this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Faust Mephisto

    A clear and fact-based narrative how recent tax policies in the USA fuel inequality - and what needs to be done to achieve better economic justice. The authors make it crystal clear why a trickle-down economy (where the lax taxation of the wealthy benefits the workers) as promoted by Republicans is nothing but a fairy tail. I sincerely hope that many voters in the upcoming US election get inspired by the ideas outlined in this book and vote in favor of their economic interests at least for once. A clear and fact-based narrative how recent tax policies in the USA fuel inequality - and what needs to be done to achieve better economic justice. The authors make it crystal clear why a trickle-down economy (where the lax taxation of the wealthy benefits the workers) as promoted by Republicans is nothing but a fairy tail. I sincerely hope that many voters in the upcoming US election get inspired by the ideas outlined in this book and vote in favor of their economic interests at least for once. It would end Republican power.

  27. 4 out of 5

    James

    This was a bit fun in that it is laying out the intellectual backbone behind Warren's economic policy, but I can see why it's not quite for everyone. There are sections simple enough to define GDP, and yet some-quite a few even-confusing sections that would be above the heads of those requiring the GDP definition. For me, steeped enough in the background to get something out of it, I enjoyed it quite a bit, so had my rating reflect it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rowland Hill

    At Last- Demythologizing Our Current Economic Malaise This book should be required reading for high school seniors and anyone in college. All politicians as well. While dense at times, particularly for someone not well-versed in economics, this slender volume clearly explicates the options open for reorganizing our grossly unfair economic distribution system. Now we need the political will to bring these ideas to fruition.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kaveh A

    Lots of great data. Very thoughtful and thorough analysis. The authors convincingly argue that our growing inequality is a (reversable) consequence of tax policy choices. Personally, however, I would have preferred that they get to their solutions faster. The genius of this book is the data/analysis, but the best portions to read are the bold, forward-looking proposals found in the book's final 50 pages.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    The book is mostly a critique on American income tax (flat rate), and a call for a more progressive system. Like Picketty, but with less raw data and less globalist. I picked up this book thinking that it would have all sorts of clever/dastardly ways in which rich people hide their money (e.g. investing in opportunity development zones), but it was very vanilla (hire Big 4 accountants, incorporate as offshore companies for marginal cost).

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