Monday, June 14, 2021
Dorothy A. Brown (Emory), What ProPublica Missed about Taxing Rich White Men:
On June 8, 2021 Pro Publica published a piece about the taxes paid — or rather not paid — by the richest men in America. All the people discussed were men — and all of them white, yet no mention of race (or gender) was to be found in the story. Policies supporting wealth building in America have always been designed by rich white men for their benefit. Never is that more true than when it comes to tax policy as I show in my book, The Whiteness of Wealth: How The Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans — And How We Can Fix It. Rich white men fight for tax loopholes that they then benefit from. ...
The American system of wealth building includes a tax system shaped by rich white men and inevitably results in other rich white men keeping more of their wealth because they legally pay little to no taxes. Paying taxes it seems is what the rest of us do. Pro Publica is following a colorblind path that most business and tax reporters unfortunately take. Those reporters consistently ignore the significant explanatory power that systemic racism can have in helping their readers understand why the winners tend to be rich white men. They should do better — but until they do, I’m going to keep calling it out. Who’s with me?
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage: