Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2778873
 


 



Perpetuating Inequality by Taxing Wealth


Goldburn P. Maynard Jr.


Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

May 1, 2016

84 Fordham L. Rev. 2429 (2016)
University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2016-7

Abstract:     
Proposals to “fix” the estate tax by making it both more far-reaching and meaningful are plentiful. While these suggested improvements are reasonable, and even modest, they have failed to confront an important part of Graetz and Shapiro’s book, Death by a Thousand Cuts: stories trump science. This Article attempts to correct this shortcoming in the progressive argument by returning narrative to its central place in the estate tax debate. Drawing on psychological insights, I hope to underscore the difficulty of the effort to preserve progressive taxation and combat wealth inequality. I argue that the proposals have not confronted the underlying narratives that estate tax abolitionists have advanced. I use System Justification Theory to explain the entrenched and persistent nature of these narratives.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: estate tax, inequality, wealth, system justification theory, wealth inequality

JEL Classification: K34


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Date posted: May 14, 2016 ; Last revised: September 16, 2016

Suggested Citation

Maynard, Goldburn P., Perpetuating Inequality by Taxing Wealth (May 1, 2016). 84 Fordham L. Rev. 2429 (2016); University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2016-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2778873

Contact Information

Goldburn Patrick Maynard Jr. (Contact Author)
Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )
Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States
5028525563 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://louisville.edu/law/faculty-staff/faculty-directory/maynard-goldburn

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