This new film, which features TJN Director John Christensen, explores the notion that human beings have an evolutionary tendency towards selfish behaviour and asks whether the widespread dislike of inequality is rooted in the human need for cooperation.
The impacts on gender of tax and spending decisions made by governments although important are often little understood by decision makers. As the UK government sets out its autumn statement the Women’s Budget Group is seeking to promote understanding of this issue.
So, Donald J Trump has won the US elections. Here’s what we’d have liked to have been able to write today: “The United States will have its first woman president – instead of the first president for years who refused to publish his tax returns; whose business affairs consistently demonstrate an affinity for tax manipulation and financial opacity; whose tax policy proposals imply a deepening of income inequality, and an acceleration of the race to the bottom in the taxation of multinational companies.” But instead we’re preparing to track the implications of Donald Trump’s election victory over the coming weeks and months in the various fields of importance to the global tax justice agenda.
The economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Facundo Alvaredo and Anthony Atkinson have played a big role in helping analyse and popularise the role that tax rate cuts for wealthy folk play in fostering economic inequality, particularly the income shares of the top 1 percent of people compared to everyone else. As they put it in 2013:
“The evolution of top tax rates is strongly negatively correlated with changes in pre-tax income concentration.”
Their findings have of course been attacked, not least by certain players keen for taxes on wealthy people to stay low.
Now there’s a new US-focused study by Douglas Campbell and Lester Lusher, called Drivers of Inequality: Trade Shocks versus Top Marginal Tax Rates. It seeks to check on these findings:
A United Nations body has called on the single largest financial secrecy jurisdiction in the world – the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies – to account for the human rights impacts of its unjust tax policies at home and abroad.
The call was issued by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which oversees compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Drawing on a joint report by the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), the Tax Justice Network (TJN) and the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law (GJC), the Committee voiced concerns that the UK’s financial secrecy legislation and permissive rules on corporate tax are undermining the proper resourcing of human rights, thereby affecting the ability of other States to mobilize resources for the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights.