The role of government regarding taxation

1.       What does “progressive taxation” mean?  What is your opinion about the role of government regarding taxation?  Should we worry about taxes that have a regressive effect on the taxpayer?

2.      If you agree with the idea of progressive taxation, how progressive should the rate be.  In some European countries, the rate on the super-rich is as much as 90%?

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3.      As a society, should we worry about the distribution or income or simply allow market forces to make that determination?  What do you think would happen if there was no attempt to influence the distribution of income and wealth…would the distribution: stay the same…become less concentrated…become more concentrated in the hands of fewer people?

4.      We hear many politicians suggesting that lowering taxes will always increase economic growth, create more jobs and ultimately mean more tax revenue.  Is this true?

5.      Does “trickle-down economics” really work?  If we allow those at the top of the income ladder to make more and more, does that trickle down to those at lower income levels and increase the number of jobs?

6.      Regarding the recent changes in tax law…what is your opinion?  Will these changes be beneficial to the economy or a detriment?  Does the new law still favor those at the top?  Does a lower corporate tax rate increase investment, growth and employment levels?

7.      What is your opinion about the distribution of wealth—which is much more disparate than income. Should we be concerned that so few have an investment in the system?

8.      What is government’s role in the overall distribution of income and wealth?

9.      Regarding the “happiness index”, are low tax countries happier than higher tax countries?

10.  What is the longer term impact on income distribution of the current pandemic?  Has it effected all income group the same?

Unless specified otherwise, the organizational format for your papers will be a simple response to questions (that will be provided).  While you have some flexibility in the way that you complete this assignment, please consider the following:

·         Your paper (response to questions) should be a minimum 500 words total. You are asked to use at least two  outside resources, which should be listed in a simple bibliography (URL) so that others may go to those sites. Try to include the bibliography with your original posting to minimize total entries.  At least two (or more) URL references should be included.

Here are a few links and articles to get you started.

NPR  Report—Who wins with the new tax law

https://www.npr.org/2017/10/04/555433641/who-will-benefit-most-from-gop-tax-plan-early-report-suggests-the-wealthy

Pew Trust:  https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/01/09/trends-in-income-and-wealth-inequality/

HAPPINESS INDEX—2019—Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/03/21/americans-are-unhappiest-theyve-ever-been-un-report-finds-an-epidemic-addictions-could-be-blame/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b91114d52573

Distribution of Wealth:

The first link represents a more conservative political/economic view and would be more representative of the traditional Republican view…the second is much more liberal.

https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/five-myths-about-economic-inequality-america?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIj4Dwj6Gp5wIVNh6tBh1Zeg3YEAAYASAAEgIjmvD_BwE

A  more liberal view—one more representative of the view of most Democrats

https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/10/07/david-leonhardt-rich/

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/economy/issues-by-the-numbers/covid-19-impact-on-income-inequality.html

Fareed Zakaria—CNN:  Excellent overview on impact of pandemic on income distribution:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2020/10/18/fareeds-take-pandemic-inequality-coronavirus-sot-gps-vpx.cnn

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