Your Tax Avoidance Strategy Doesn’t Fool Thomas Piketty’s Buddy

Money in tax havens = the answer to wealth inequality?
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"You see, it is lower here, and higher over here."

Gabriel Zucman, comrade and collaborator to Wall Street’s favorite economist, Thomas Piketty, has done a little math. He added up all of the liabilities in the world, and subtracted from them all of the assets, and guess what? The answer isn’t zero. In fact, it was $6 billion in 2013, up from $5 billion just a year earlier. Now, where could all that money be? Gabe thinks he has an idea.

The economist Gabriel Zucman, a protégé and co-author of the French economist Thomas Piketty, has published a new book that attempts to document money hiding out in tax havens. Mr. Zucman’s book, “The Hidden Wealth of Nations,” documents just how dramatic the recent rise has been….The challenges posed by tax havens are not simply limited to wealthy Americans trying to hide from the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Zucman finds, for example, that the international profits of U.S. corporations are increasingly showing up in tax havens.

Is Wealth Inequality Hidden in Tax Havens? Piketty’s Co-Author Thinks So [WSJ Real Time Economics blog]

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Area Billionaire Threatens "Legal And Illegal Tax Avoidance" To Protect Comic Book Funds From Drum Circling Hippie Freeloader Idiots

"The only way to finance a big European-style state is to have it paid for by massive taxation of everyone, mostly the middle class. Right now, we are avoiding honest debate on this fact...The first truth is that the current tax rates cannot support the promises made to middle-class Americans. The most unaffordable items in fiscal projections are Social Security for everyone and government-sponsored health care for the middle class. You cannot preserve these even with Draconian slashing of military, infrastructure, welfare, education, and other expenditures. The second truth is that you cannot pay for the Life of Julia, or any vision of a cradle-to-grave welfare state, without massive and increasingly regressive middle-class taxes. The poor don't have the money to pay for a European-style welfare state, and the rich, rich as they are, don't have anywhere near enough. Not only that, it's easy to tax middle-class assets and transactions — things like payrolls, sales, and real estate — but soaking the rich means taxing investments. Investments are complicated and can be restructured to minimize taxes. Also, investments are the lifeblood of economic growth. Raising significantly more taxes from the rich also requires higher marginal tax rates — and their rates are already quite high. High marginal rates distort the economy and yield less revenue than anticipated because they increase the rewards for legal and illegal tax avoidance...to achieve anything like the European-style entitlement state they advocate, we need to tax everyone a lot more, not just the 1 percent. Despite all the drum circles protesting the inequitable distribution of resources, the wealthy just don’t have enough. The middle class and even the poor must step up to carry more of the burden if this is our desired endgame. [The American, related]