Matt O'Brien: Inequality is worse than we know. The super-rich really do avoid a lot of taxes: "On the legal end of the spectrum... companies shift their profits to show up in low-tax jurisdictions.... According to Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman and his co-researchers... as much as 40 percent of all multinational profits and 50 percent of U.S. ones...

...U.S. companies report more profits in Ireland, the top tax-avoidance destination in the world, than they do in China, Japan, Germany, France and Mexico combined.... Because a lot of that money is often invested in things such as U.S. Treasury and corporate bonds despite being listed in other countries for accounting purposes — they still have to pay taxes on it here, so we can keep track of how much they have.

That isn’t the case, though, when it comes to the... outright evading of taxes... by its very nature... not the kind of thing we can begin to quantify. People, after all, don’t exactly fill out forms telling us how much of their taxes they’re not paying. But it turns out that we don’t need them to. That’s because the Bank for International Settlements has begun publishing statistics on the banking relationships between different countries that allow us to stitch together a picture of how much wealth is being held offshore. And it’s a lot. Zucman and his team estimate that around 10 percent of global GDP is being held inside all the different tax havens. It’s not as bad for the United States as it is for a lot of other countries—about half of Russia’s wealth, for example, has been moved out of the country—but it’s enough to increase the top 0.01 percent’s share of household wealth from about 7 percent to almost 8 percent. That’s over $1 trillion hiding overseas.

But rather than do anything about this, President Trump’s administration and the Republican Party as a whole have continued to starve the IRS of the money it would need to pursue these kinds of investigations...


#shouldread
#inequality
#equitablegrowth

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