Substantially increased wealth inequality across the developed world has prompted many philosophers, economists and legal theorists to support comprehensive taxes on all forms of wealth. Proposals include levying taxes on the basis of total wealth, or alternatively the change in the value of capital holdings measured from year-to-year. This contrasts with most existing policies that tax capital assets at the point they are transferred from one beneficiary to another through sale or gifts. Are these tax reforms likely to meet their aims of greater economic and political equality? NOUS Member Nick Cowen and Charles Delmotte argue that these policies are likely to fail because, following neoclassical economic theory, they are based on a conception of capital as possessing given values in what amounts to a static equilibrium.
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