May 06, 2014

Taxing property or inheritance could, ceteris paribus, only lead to more inequality.

Sir, I refer to Janan Ganesh’s “Tory tax on property is perfect for the Piketty age” May 6.

If I was to make a fast list of what has increased inequality during the last decades that list would include rent extraction, crony capitalism, excessively exploited intellectual property rights, the power of global brands, be it Coca Cola or Real Madrid, the force residing in monopolies or excessive market shares, how managers have taken away corporate control from shareholders, and how bank regulators have allowed such incredible high leverages in the banks while ascertaining to the public these were sound institutions… inheritances would not be on it.

And if I was to combat inequalities I would not start by taxing properties or inheritance since, in the great scheme of things, ceteris paribus, meaning money will keep on flowing how it normally flows, that could lead to even more inequality.

Do I have any suggestions? For a starter two:

First all profits derived from operating under the protection of intellectual property rights or excessive market shares, should be taxed at a higher rate that profits obtained by competing naked in the market.

Second, the tax deductibility as an expense of any salary should be limited to fifty times the median salary of the nation.