We have a great deal of statistical data, in America today, about the
economic circumstances of Americans who live in poverty. We know far
less, by contrast, about Americans who live amid great wealth. And much
of what we do know, suggests a revealing new study, turns out to be
America’s wealthiest, this new study details, almost certainly hold
substantially greater personal fortunes than our standard analyses of
the nation’s distribution of wealth indicate.
What are these conventional analyses not taking into account? A
simple reality of our deeply unequal age: Extravagantly wealthy people
cheat on their taxes. Regularly. Extravagantly, too. Our super rich are
stashing vast chunks of their personal fortunes in offshore tax havens,
generating billions annually in new income that — to their governments —
goes unseen and untaxed.
Just how enormous has this tax evasion by the super rich become?
University of California-Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman