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Prominent economics prof: ‘Wealth tax’ needed to reduce inequality

A prominent economics professor penned an op-ed on Sunday saying federal taxes ought to be based on individual wealth rather than income in order to  “reduce inequality.”

 “Wealth inequality has worsened for two decades and is now at an extreme level,” wrote Daniel Altman, who is a professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, in the an opinion piece published last Sunday in the New York Times.Altman added that a wealth tax would “allocate opportunities more equitably and efficiently” while ensuring “society did not become unduly polarized.”

Altman did, however, note that such a proposal would “present some complications.”

For instance, he argues that a “cottage industry would spring up to help wealthy people lessen their exposure to the new tax” and that to solve for it “the federal government would need new rules for the reporting and valuation of assets.”

But ultimately, the professor concludes “the benefits of the wealth tax would make these adjustments worthwhile.”

According to his faculty biography, Altman is president of North Yard Economics and chief economist of the online knowledge forum, Big Think.