Book Review Number 32

The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes – Emmanuel Saez and  Gabriel Zucman

The authors are internationally known economists with significant focus on the inequality of incomes of the poor, middle class, and wealthy. In this volume they track the history of the American tax system at all levels of government over the past hundred years. They make the case that over the past 50 years or so federal income tax policy in the United States has shifted dramatically to favor the ultra-wealthy Americans at the expense of everyone else. At the same time state and local taxes remain essentially flat, which disproportionately burdens the poor and middle class.

In their detailed research and analysis the authors demonstrate that for the first time in the past hundred years the ultra-rich actually pay lower tax rates than working and middle class Americans when you consider all levels of government. They outline how the ultra-wealthy use methodologies to avoid and/or evade taxes that are simply not available to working Americans.

The book documents with specific detailed analysis the proof that the wealthy are not paying their fair share of the burden of government and public services. It presents specific factual evidence of tax abuse by the ultra-wealthy that many of us believed to be true but did not have the statistics to prove. They also present appropriate policies that would generate the necessary revenue to fund all levels of government while still shrinking the inequality that is rampant in our current system. I  recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand American tax policy and how to improve it. 


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