Time for a Social Solidarity Tax?

39 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2020

See all articles by Heinz Klug

Heinz Klug

University of Wisconsin Law School

Date Written: August 17, 2020


Covid-19 is transforming the world, but we do not yet know how much. Across the globe the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated social and economic problems. From medical systems to livelihoods, Covid-19 is revealing how inequality impacts death rates, job losses, education, and housing. In many societies, including the United States, it has also exposed how these gross inequalities fall along racial and ethnic lines, with devastating impacts on marginal individuals, poor and minority communities. This article looks back at the comparative historical experience of wealth taxes and capital levies in Europe and Asia to put the present calls for wealth taxes in perspective and to suggest that a Social Solidarity Tax designed with this history as a guide may be necessary to address the coming economic catastrophe.

Keywords: inequality, taxation, pandemic, COVID-19, wealth, tax capital, levies, historical comparative method

JEL Classification: K40

Suggested Citation

Klug, Heinz, Time for a Social Solidarity Tax? (August 17, 2020). Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1604, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3675830

Heinz Klug (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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