An Oversimplified, Misleading Argument about Inequality and Taxes

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Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman’s Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay sacrifices intellectual rigor to polemic zeal.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he United States has a progressive income-tax system. What this means is that the tax rate paid on a dollar of income depends on how much income is earned. As income reaches higher thresholds, each dollar above those thresholds is taxed at a higher rate. As a result, those earning higher incomes pay a higher average tax rate.

Or at least that’s how the system is supposed to work. In their provocative new book, The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman argue that in effect, the U.S. operates

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