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"women don't deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men" "You're gonna make the same if you do as good a job." These statements are controversial because they are perceived to imply that the gender pay gap is entirely due to women doing less a good job than men. People who are critical of those statements might argue that many ...


40

You're not alone in thinking that taxing wealth more and income less is a way to reduce inequality. It's something that some commentators do argue (here's an example from the NY Times), and most countries already have a mix of taxes that include both income, and things that are linked to wealth independent of income (examples below). However, your ...


23

It is a complicated question. The answer to your title question is: no, it usually wouldn't lead to more equal income. It was tried multiple times, the result is always the same: employers keep the same number of employees working for the same salary and increase their own profits instead. The previously taxed part which was going to the government ...


15

The idea of basic income is that everyone receives enough money to fulfill their most basic needs. That money must come from somewhere. An NGO which is financed through voluntary donations from the same population they are supposed to provide basic income to can simply not achieve that. When you want to pay everyone $500* a month, you need to collect an ...


14

Henry George advocated for a Land Value Tax which assesses the undeveloped value of a property and taxes the person who owns the property an assessed tax. Specifically, it is the unimproved land that is taxed, not any improvement to the land (such as a parking lot, a mall, a house, a farm, ect) or what is the value of the property assuming it was ...


12

We don't tax income based on wealth, because taxing wealth is what the wealth tax is for. For example, in The Netherlands, the tax office assumes investments return 4% of their value, and this is then taxed at 30%. Effectively, this is a 1.2% wealth tax. If you put more than a minimum amount of money in a savings account, this will be taxed. And ...


11

It is difficult to provide exact evidence because there is hardly any agreement on what being a "better" politician means. If by "better" one means those with "higher moral ground", well, there is some limited evidence that shows higher salaries reduce corruption among government officials (e.g. see Van Rijckeghem & Weder (...


11

First, a useful definition for understanding the following. Rent-seeking Rent-seeking is a concept in public choice theory, as well as in economics, that involves seeking to increase one's share of existing wealth without creating new wealth. Rent-seeking results in reduced economic efficiency through misallocation of resources, reduced wealth-creation, ...


11

The term "Third World" is no longer applicable The categories "first world", "second world" and "third world" were never categories of economic development. They were categories of political allegiance during the cold war with: First world: The "Free World": United States, other NATO members and countries ...


10

I can't speak for Ms Clinton but I can offer some thoughts on why she may not think that Trump's approach really addresses the issue. What Trump is addressing is the case where a man and a woman both do the same job. He is saying, quite reasonably, that they should both earn the same (or thereabouts). This is a reasonable position to hold and I have no ...


8

The basic economic theory is that any form of taxation reduces the overall amount of economic activity because it introduces inefficencies. Simplest example: If I have a business idea where I can pay someone 10$ to make something that I can sell for 11$, I will employ someone and do it. If I have to pay another 2$ of taxes on top of the 10$ salary, I won't ...


7

Two questions here, one in the subject line and one in the main text. Regarding the second question, I answer a clear "no" -- another term for president Trump will not turn the US into a third world country. There are some worrying trends, but not towards the third world. Regarding the first question, a combination of many of the following ...


6

FOR THE RECORD: This answer is based on what the perception of the issue and proposed solutions are or would be. Which is why the topic is controversial in the first place. I make no claim as to the validity of the argument for or against equal pay, this answer is simply intended to explain the reason why the concept of regulating equal pay is contentious....


6

Accurately measuring wealth for tax purposes is difficult and extremely intrusive. To tax based on a person's total wealth, a government needs to compute the person's wealth exactly. It is considerably more difficult than figuring out income. Most income can be traced to specific money movements (wages, contractual payments, sales of property and so on). ...


6

All good points above. A few other issues, or perhaps just different way of describing already valid points. First, I am speaking specifically in comparing the sort of income based wealth tax to a more traditional wealth tax, which places a tax on the value of wealth someone already has; such as taxes on owned real estate and the inheritance tax. Ie, ...


6

(To be expanded ...) Comparatively well off Many in Germany think that they are well off in contrast to other european countries, and that this is why they are comparatively low paid. The feeling is that with higher wages, the German economy would be less competitive within the eurozone and the labour market would we weaker. Weak unions I can't offer a ...


6

I have asked myself the same question many times and made observations. I have experienced this not only in Germany but also other countries where I have lived. My belief is that people who are doing just about fine are more eager not to loose the bit that they have - their part of the wealth, even if it is very small. With the rise of time-work, low income ...


6

There are two theories about minimum wage. Minimum wages increase wages without any offsetting reduction in employment. Minimum wages reduce employment, since they outlaw jobs at lower pay. While some jobs may increase hourly pay, they will reduce hours or eliminate other jobs to compensate. People who hold to the latter theory may well want to ...


5

Look at it the other way around. The EU offers work permits to highly skilled immigrants. How do you define what a "highly skilled immigrant" is? Easy, it is anybody who can earn 1.5 times the average annual gross salary with those skills. Otherwise there could be endless squabbling if a concert violoncellist is more or less skilled than a college-dropout ...


5

My proposal would be a wealth-added tax. Instead of relying on people to report their assets, tax the underlying assets directly. So if there is a house somewhere, send the owner a bill. This works even if the owner is corporate, as the tax is due on the asset, not the owner. No payment? Take and sell the house. This is how property taxes already work. ...


5

There are some general comments/downsides to asset/wealth limits as a means test of any kind of welfare program: Asset tests can create a disincentive to save among families who might subsequently qualify for benefits. Sometimes one additional dollar of assets can result in the loss of thousands of dollars per year in public assistance benefits. ...


4

It appears that you've independently rediscovered a Smithian or Ricardian version of a labour theory of value. In this mode of reasoning each hour of labour is equated with each other hour of labour. Has difficulty explaining the movement of value from non-capitalised to capitalised industries and thus for differential profit. Marx's category of "value," ...


4

To put the information from the comments and elsewhere into an answer: According to this website, there is a journal that deals with debate on basic income and studies on it. According to the description for the journal, there have been an increase in academic discussion of the issue which I imagine includes economic studies on the ramifications of the ...


4

The graph in the Wikipedia article actually does do what you want: The intergenerational income elasticity is a measure of the extent to which a child born from a parent who makes $X in income will increase his income to $Y (after doing an integral). (See page 10 of the OECD report for the mathematical definition.) Note that a higher elasticity corresponds ...


4

Leaving aside both the desirability of your stated goal ("to close the wealth gap" - but if you recall, every country that vigorously tried, ended up with near-universal low standard of living. Look up USSR, North Korea, Mao's China, or modern Venezuela); ... as well as obvious political realities (wealthy people have political clout, far more so than high-...


4

Has this ever been tried? Yes, in 2013 there was a proposal about limiting the highest wages in a company at 12 times the lowest pay in Switzerland. Final results showed that votes against carried the day by 65.3% to 34.7% in favour. Sources : Switzerland votes against cap executive pay Swiss government's web page about the voting results


4

I think there are a number of excellent answers, which I in no way want to detract from, but I want to introduce one more problem with this scheme. This creates a perverse incentive to spend one's wealth rather than saving it. Consider the case where 2 people each make 1million dollars per year; clearly the kind of people this system is designed to tax. One ...


4

History The fascists in Germany forbade any union and cheased/arrested/killed union workers. In the hard years of rebuilding Germany the laws had formed and did not really change in recent years (except the including of legal warn-strike as a free-time-compensation that does mean damage to the company's image only and crucial test to the workers). Divide and ...


4

Something none of the other answers mentioned. There are a couple of problems in Trump's statement: It assumes that there are ready and easy comparisons of men and women in similar positions. It assumes that performance is easy to measure. While there are undoubtedly jobs where one or both of those hold, there are plenty where they don't. So its easy to ...


4

I think that the quick back-and-forth during the Presidential debate doesn't quite capture the nature of her objection to Trump's position. In a June 21, 2016 speech in Columbus, Ohio, Clinton more fully articulated her view: Over the years, [Trump] has said all kinds of things about women in the workforce. He once called pregnant employees, and I quote, “...


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