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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Environment & Forest Defense
"The Public Trust Doctrine," Wealth Inequality, and Iraq
The Public Trust Doctrine is a fundamental precursor to modern environmental law and continues to be an integral principle of national resource management. The doctrine has often been characterized as an attribute of sovereignty that carries constitutional force.
Why did the USA invade Iraq?
by Sabastian Plappert
WEALTH INEQUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES SINCE 1913:
EVIDENCE FROM CAPITALIZED INCOME TAX DATA*
Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman
This paper combines income tax returns with macroeconomic household balance sheets to estimate the distribution of wealth in the United States since 1913. We estimate wealth by capitalizing the incomes reported by individual taxpayers, accounting for assets that do not generate taxable income. We successfully test our capitalization method in three micro datasets where we
can observe both income and wealth: the Survey of Consumer Finance, linked estate and income tax returns, and foundations’ tax records. We find that wealth concentration was high in the beginning of the twentieth century, fell from 1929 to 1978, and has continuously increased since then. The top 0.1% wealth share has risen from 7% in 1978 to 22% in 2012, a level almost as high as in 1929. Top wealth-holders are younger today than in the 1960s and earn a higher fraction of the economy’s labor income. The bottom 90% wealth share first increased up to the mid-1980s and then steadily declined. The increase in wealth inequality in recent decades is due to the upsurge of top incomes combined with an increase in saving rate inequality.
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