Predating a

25-Feb-2020 00:06

They don’t think the high tax rates actually stopped high earners from engaging in useful economic activity, or did much to harm economic growth.Conservative and libertarian economists, naturally, disagree, and contend that rates that high have massive economic costs.They also add in the effect of all taxes and government transfer programs like food stamps or Medicaid. People at or below the median income saw their incomes rise by 1 percent or less every year during that period. At the very bottom, some people have seen incomes fall pre-tax; while most poor households get government assistance to help with that, programs like food stamps or the earned income tax credit fail to reach about 20 to 25 percent of the people they’re meant to help. Contrary to some recent commentary, the large increase in inequality isn’t due to the top 20 percent; affluent, educated professionals with low-six-figure salaries and nice homes in good suburbs aren’t driving this.

That’s an important finding, and given how careful their latest work is to include all sources of income, it’s going to be a hard one to rebut.

The richest of the rich got rather muted increases in income.

And rose a great deal faster from 1946 to 1980 than the bottom 95 percent’s did from 1980 to 2014. But one theory, which Saez, Piketty, and Harvard economist Stefanie Stantcheva have floated, holds that very high marginal tax rates (the top rate on wages was 91 percent for most of the 1950s) discouraged the rich from making very large salaries.

Produced by Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez and his frequent collaborators Thomas Piketty (EHESS), and Gabriel Zucman (Berkeley), and using a mix of tax and survey data, it shows compellingly that income gains in recent decades have gone overwhelmingly to the ultrarich, not the middle class: taking all the economic gains.

The conservatives argued that the standard data used to illustrate inequality is incomplete; Saez, Piketty, and Zucman have completed it, and demonstrated that income growth has been quite low for the middle class and very unequally distributed between them and the wealthy.

That’s an important finding, and given how careful their latest work is to include all sources of income, it’s going to be a hard one to rebut.The richest of the rich got rather muted increases in income.And rose a great deal faster from 1946 to 1980 than the bottom 95 percent’s did from 1980 to 2014. But one theory, which Saez, Piketty, and Harvard economist Stefanie Stantcheva have floated, holds that very high marginal tax rates (the top rate on wages was 91 percent for most of the 1950s) discouraged the rich from making very large salaries.Produced by Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez and his frequent collaborators Thomas Piketty (EHESS), and Gabriel Zucman (Berkeley), and using a mix of tax and survey data, it shows compellingly that income gains in recent decades have gone overwhelmingly to the ultrarich, not the middle class: taking all the economic gains.The conservatives argued that the standard data used to illustrate inequality is incomplete; Saez, Piketty, and Zucman have completed it, and demonstrated that income growth has been quite low for the middle class and very unequally distributed between them and the wealthy.In the 1950s and ’60s, poor and middle-income Americans actually saw greater income growth than rich ones.