I'm pretty sure this is exactly the wrong way of looking at this. Wealth taxation is, if not the fairest, at least massively better than income taxes.

Wealth concentration has huge implications, most of them negative (less social cohesion, practical effects of a group of people being able to influence decisionmaking disproportionately etc.), and the fact that it gets someone out of the rat race is one of them. If we want to end the rat race, not just get a select few out of it, creating a class of people who benefit from it while not taking part in it is a sure way of creating opposition.

And even if you want to get people out of the rat race, replacing income tax with wealth tax should help with that. Although hopefully not to the extent that you could get your family out of it and create a wealthy class again.

Government getting too strong is a argument against it, but I don't think it's particularly relevant – government has ways of getting stronger that are absolutely not dependent on the specific form of taxation that it imposes.

@FailForward @freemo @ejg


Thanks for your response. I appreciate it. So let's get to the meat: _what exactly is the wealth to be taxed?_

* cash/money in bank, check
* real estate, check

But should I be taxed for owning a piece of paper which states that in 20 years I will inherit $20Mio (promisory note)? Or shall I be taxed for owning 50% shares of a company valued at €1Mio, while actually working as an employee director of that company which actually books loses year by year? It's not wealth I can anyhow use, but people would ascribe it as net worth to me. What's you take on this?

@jmw150 @freemo @ejg

I haven't been actually responding to you, and this was more of a very general point, as I'm not sure what the specifics of a taxation system I would support would be – in fact I'm not even sure it would strictly be a wealth tax, perhaps a Georgian-adjecent land-in-the-broad-sense tax would be better. Anyway, I'll try answering the question under the assumption wealth tax is going to be implemented.

I think all kinds of wealth, including the ones you enumerated should be counted as wealth and taxed in this case. None of this should ever be completely impossible to liquidate, we have lots of financial instruments that should allow selling parts of one's wealth whatever form it is in. I suspect the actual tricky part would be assesing the real worth of assets – how much is a promise of $20Mio in 20 years really worth right now? (Although I think this is a pretty bad example – in this case another entity currently owns the money, so they are already being taxed – the promise itself shouldn't be worth much in this framework... I think?) At least with shares it is simple, they are already part of the best calibrated price assesment instrument we have.

Note that I'm also not sure how the tax rates should be structured – I suspect taxation progressive with the amount of wealth would be better, but the devil here is surely in the details, which I unfortunately am not able to provide.

@jmw150 @freemo @ejg

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