The Public Interest

The burden of wealth

James K. Galbraith

Fall 2000

BRUCE Bartlett is an old friend from the Joint Economic Committee of the early 1980s, where he was chief supplysider and I was, in effect, chief Keynesian. He has now written an essay much in the vein of those days: a bold defense of wealth and inequality, capped by a stirring call for more of both. By and by, there is discussion here of abolition of the estate tax—today’s wedge issue for Republicans. But in his absorbing discussion of inheritance and taxes, Bartlett fails— or simply forgets—to explain why this particular tax should be abolished.

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