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Gabriel Zucman on "Globalization, Inequality, and Tax Justice"


Event Summary

Photo by Max Herman

Beginning with the Reagan tax cuts of the 1980s, the United States launched an unprecedented social experiment that has failed spectacularly. Inequality in the United States is now comparable to what it is in plutocratic Russia. Even as they have become fabulously wealthy, the rich have cut their taxes to levels last seen in the 1920s. Some believe that dodging taxes makes them smart, but it mostly makes us fools. The burden of what the 1 percent and multinationals won’t pay must be borne by the rest of us—thus exacerbating inequality. This talk by Gabriel Zucman addressed how we got there and discussed potential solutions.

About the Speaker

Gabriel Zucman is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens (University of Chicago Press, 2015), which offers a sophisticated approach to quantifying the extent of the world’s money held in tax havens, and he contributes regularly to public debates about tax policy, wealth, and inequality. Working with Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and others, Zucman co-directs the World Inequality Database, which is pioneering methodologies and research tools to study global wealth and income inequality.

The event was sponsored by the Economy and Its Boundaries project at the Neubauer Collegium.