Tom MacWright

I read Triumph of Injustice by Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman on


What a spectacular book. I was already a fan of this school of thought via Capital in the Twenty-First Century. In comparison, Triumph is shorter, snappier, and much more prescriptive. Saez & Zucman aren’t afraid to make big policy recommendations, show their work, and paint a better world.

There are a lot of the same mind-bendingly simple ideas, like “the rent homeowners pay to themselves,” and the idea that taxation can serve distinct purposes - like reducing carbon, reducing inequality, or, yes, raising revenue, and it’s okay for a specific kind of tax to only do one of the above.

This book comes with a website, taxjusticenow, with interactive calculators laying out different scenarios. It skillfully debunks a lot of the anti wealth-tax rhetoric, like how to value & tax privately-held speculative companies. The authors don’t just recommend importing European tax ideas - they want to leap-frog things like the VAT with a new generation of tax policy, like a national income tax.

Absolutely fascinating and an excellent read. I hope some of these ideas go into practice.