Category Archives: Wealthy

New Op-Ed: “The Cheap Prosperity Gospel of Trump and Osteen”

New Op-Ed: Anthea Butler, The Cheap Prosperity Gospel of Trump and Osteen, N.Y. Times, Aug. 30, 2017.

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Op-Ed: “Black people aren’t keeping white Americans out of college. Rich people are.”

Op-Ed: Christine Emba, Black people aren’t keeping white Americans out of college. Rich people are, Wash. Post, Aug. 4, 2017.

Op-Ed: “Louise Linton and the “Sacrifices” of the Very Rich and Incredibly Obnoxious”

Op-Ed: Ezra Rosser, Louise Linton and the “Sacrifices” of the Very Rich and Incredibly Obnoxious, CommonDreams, Aug. 23, 2017. [Sadly, I was in a rush to pick up my kid from camp and did not read it through a second time before I pressed send–I missed a couple of grammar issues, but oh well.]

New Article: “Taxing Wealth Seriously”

New Article: Edward J. McCaffery, Taxing Wealth Seriously, 70 Tax L. Rev. 305 (2017). Abstract below:

The social and political problems of wealth inequality in America are severe and getting worse. A surprise is that the U.S. tax system, as is, is a significant cause of these problems, not a cure for them. The tax-law doctrines that allow those who already have financial wealth to live, luxuriously and tax-free, or to pass on their wealth tax-free to heirs, are simple. The applicable legal doctrines have been in place for nearly a century under the income tax, the primary social tool for addressing matters of economic inequality. The analytic pathways to reform are easy to see once the law is properly understood. Yet our political systems show no serious interest in taxing wealth seriously. We are letting capital off the hook, and ratcheting up taxes on labor, at precisely a time when deep-seated and long-running economic forces suggest that this is precisely the wrong thing to do. It is time — past time — for a change. This Article canvasses a century of tax policy in the United States to show that we have never been serious about taxing wealth seriously, and to lay out pathways towards reform.

New Book: “Wealth NOMOS LVIII”

New Book: Wealth NOMOS LVIII (Jack Knight and Melissa Schwartzberg eds. 2017).

News Article: “Wealthy Women Can Afford to Reject Marriage, but Poor Women Can’t”

News Article: Emma Green, “Wealthy Women Can Afford to Reject Marriage, but Poor Women Can’t“, The Atlantic, Jan. 15, 2016.

New(ish) Symposium Published: “Law and Inequality”

I missed the publication of this symposium by the Yale Law and Policy Review so here it is a bit dated:

Law and Inequality: An American Constitution Society Conference at Yale Law School
October 16 and 17, 2015

FEATURE
Martha T. McCluskey, Frank Pasquale & Jennifer Taub
FEATURE
Frank Pasquale

News Article: ” The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today”

News Article: Joshua Holland, “The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today“, The Nation, August 8, 2016.

New Article: “Poor Support/Rich Support: (Re)Viewing the American Social Welfare State”

New Article: Wendy A. Bach, Poor Support/Rich Support: (Re)Viewing the American Social Welfare State, forthcoming Florida Tax Rev. 2017.  Abstract below:

Since at least the 1970s a variety of scholars have redefined the U.S. social welfare state to include not only traditional benefit programs (for example Food Stamps and social security) but also a variety of tax benefits that are “hidden” or “submerged” forms of “welfare for the wealthy.” Including these benefits in the overall picture of U.S. social welfare provision reveals a system that is both larger in size than popularly believed and that, in addition to providing some support for the poor, distributes significant benefits regressively, to households with substantial wealth. Although a variety of scholars and policy analysts have described these outcomes, scholars have yet to focus on the ways in which structural inequality is written directly into the means of administration of U.S. social welfare programs. This article is the first to turn to those questions and to systematically demonstrate that those who are economically (and disproportionately racially) disadvantaged are offered a social welfare state that is meager, punitive and tremendously risky for those who receive its benefits. But for those with economic privilege, the story is quite different. Families and individuals with significant economic privilege benefit disproportionately from a whole host of cash and near-cash benefits that are neither meager nor punitive. In fact, in contrast to benefits for the poor, benefits for the rich function as nearly invisible entitlements. As one moves from benefits for the poor towards benefits for the rich the administrative structures shift along this progression, becoming less and less punitive and risky and more and more like invisible entitlements. Although as a formal matter the rich, like the poor, have no right to economic support in the Constitutional sense, American social welfare policy moves the rich remarkably close to a right to economic support, leaving the poor far behind. This article reveals these vast structural inequalities and concludes by calling not only, as others have, for an increase and more progressive distribution of social welfare dollars but also, for the first time, for reforms that would address the structural inequalities at the heart of the U.S. social welfare state and that would render it more successful at supporting the autonomy and resilience of all of its beneficiaries.

Article: Privacy, Poverty and Big Data: A Matrix of Vulnerabilities for Poor Americans

Article: Mary Madden, et al., Privacy, Poverty and Big Data: A Matrix of Vulnerabilities for Poor Americans, Washington L. Rev. (forthcoming 2017).

This Article examines the matrix of vulnerabilities that low-income people face as a result of the collection and aggregation of big data and the application of predictive analytics. On the one hand, big data systems could reverse growing economic inequality by expanding access to opportunities for low-income people. On the other hand, big data could widen economic gaps by making it possible to prey on low-income people or to exclude them from opportunities due to biases that get entrenched in algorithmic decision-making tools. New kinds of “networked privacy” harms, in which users are simultaneously held liable for their own behavior and the actions of those in their networks, may have particularly negative impacts on the poor. This Article reports on original empirical findings from a large, nationally-representative telephone survey with an oversample of low-income American adults and highlights how these patterns make particular groups of low-status internet users uniquely vulnerable to various forms of surveillance and networked privacy-related problems. In particular, a greater reliance on mobile connectivity, combined with lower usage of privacy-enhancing strategies may contribute to various privacy and security-related harms. The article then discusses three scenarios in which big data – including data gathered from social media inputs – is being aggregated to make predictions about individual behavior: employment screening, access to higher education, and predictive policing. Analysis of the legal frameworks surrounding these case studies reveals a lack of legal protections to counter digital discrimination against low-income people. In light of these legal gaps, the Article assesses leading proposals for enhancing digital privacy through the lens of class vulnerability, including comprehensive consumer privacy legislation, digital literacy, notice and choice regimes, and due process approaches. As policymakers consider reforms, the article urges greater attention to impacts on low-income persons and communities.