French Economist Thomas Piketty and his wife Julia Cage autograph a copy of CAPITAL for Senator Elizabeth Warren while she autographs her book, A Fighting Chance. May 31, 2014, Old South Meeting House.

I might have been present when Senator Elizabeth Warren’s idea for a wealth tax was conceived. I even have a photo to prove it.

Yesterday, Senator Warren announced her proposal for a wealth tax on the richest 75,000 households in the U.S., exclusively billionaires and ultra-millionaires. Her proposed wealth tax would levy an annual 2 percent tax on wealth over $50 million, with the rate rising to 3 percent on wealth over $1 billion. Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man in the U.S., would pay $4.1 billion under the new tax.

Two French economists, Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez, advised the…

It hardly makes news any more that the US is becoming an extremely unequal country.

Each year new eye-popping statistics juxtapose the reality of decades of stagnant wages for half the country’s workers with today’s extreme concentrations of wealth and power.

The top three wealthiest billionaires in the US — Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — now have as much wealth as the bottom half of the US population combined.

This is possible because the bottom fifth of US households are underwater, with zero or negative net worth. …

Chuck Collins

Director of the Program on Inequality at the Institute for Policy Studies; co-editor of He is author of Born on Third Base and other books.

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