Wealth taxes and the post-COVID future of the state

Jane Andrew, Max Baker*, Christine Cooper, Jonathan Tweedie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Over the last 30 years, Critical Perspectives on Accounting has published work placing tax as the central object of study. While this literature offers insights into the social, economic, environmental, and political importance of corporate tax, few focus on the individual. In placing the individual at the centre of this essay, we argue for a wealth tax targeting the super-rich to restore equality, decency, and the social contract. While there has been much discussion of wealth taxes, building popular support for a tax on the rich is extraordinarily difficult. Here we make the case for a tax on wealth, drawing on both consequentialist and non-consequentialist notions of justice, suggesting that a wealth tax may offer a crucial antidote to the social inequalities that have intensified as a result of COVID-19. At the very least, a wealth tax needs to be considered as a means to recalibrate the financial gains made by a handful of individuals during the pandemic. If the state is to be an effective actor in the post-COVID future, we must build on the empirical evidence around us to make the case that sustained public wealth will always be essential to our collective survival.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102431
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Early online date28 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • wealth tax
  • neoliberalism
  • modern monetary theory
  • COVID-19
  • billionaires
  • the state

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