The Rich Sure Do Cheat On Their Taxes a Lot

A team of researchers has combined disclosures from the Panama Papers with administrative tax data and population records in Scandinavia and finds that “tax evasion rises sharply with wealth.” The rich do this primarily by parking wealth in Switzerland and other tax havens. I don’t think this comes as a surprise to anyone, but the size of the tax evasion might:

Of course, this is just for those infamous scofflaws in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. American zillionaires are probably a lot more honest, don’t you think?

POSTSCRIPT: Snark aside, personal tax rates are pretty high in Scandinavia—though not as high as urban legend has it. Still, their high rates do provide a bigger incentive to hide wealth overseas, so it’s possible that American tax evasion is lower than it is in Scandinavia. I wouldn’t bet on it, though.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

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THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

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