Recently, candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed a wealth tax, which is a tax on wealth that has already been earned, taxed and saved.
This sounded historically familiar to me, so I talked to my friend Amity Shlaes, a renowned economic historian and author of “The Forgotten Man,” a history of the Great Depression. She confirmed to me that under the New Deal there were, indeed, several wealth taxes.
The result of this general war on business and war on wealth was what she labeled “the Depression within the Depression”—that brutal period from 1937-1938 when unemployment, still over ten percent, shot back up even higher. The anti-business attitude of the New Deal prolonged and, she said, “put the ‘great’ in Great Depression, no doubt about it.”
A wealth tax? We’ve been there. Done that. Crashed the economy. This is one experiment that we’d be fools to try again.Read More »