Could A Wealth Tax Work? : Planet Money Elizabeth Warren wants to tax the wealth of the mega-rich to help fix inequality. Europe tried this, and failed. Can it work in the U.S.?

Could A Wealth Tax Work?

Could A Wealth Tax Work?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Yachts in Cannes, France. Getty Images/Westend61 hide caption

toggle caption
Getty Images/Westend61

Yachts in Cannes, France.

Getty Images/Westend61

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants to tackle inequality by implementing a wealth tax on ultra-millionares. 2% for households with $50 million dollars or more and 3% for households with $1 billion or more.

She's not alone. Back in June, 20 really rich people signed an open letter calling for a wealth tax on people like them.

Income taxes are the norm for the U.S. federal government. A wealth tax would be new. But they've been tried in Europe, and they largely failed.

Today on the show, we talk to zillionares and economists and ask: Can a wealth tax really work?

Some numbers in this episode come from polls by Politico and CNBC.

Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Music: "Panic at Versailles" and "My Old Town."

Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Newsletter

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts and NPR One.