The essay should address the general issue of wealth taxes and whether they shou

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The essay should address the general issue of wealth taxes and whether they should be introduced in Canada. There is a lot of concern in some circles about the inequality of wealth in Canada. You can see some general stats in various places, but a good first cut might be the StatsCan site: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/221003/dq221003a-eng.htm You might also find it interesting to take a look at the World Inequality Database (easily accessed through your search engine). So far in this course, we have considered ability to pay to be defined primarily by income, but one might argue that wealth is also a consideration in measuring ability to pay.
In the United States, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren (a very serious but somewhat left-wing Democrat who ran for her party’s presidential nomination in 2020) proposed the introduction of such a tax as a way to address increasing wealth inequality in the U.S. and you can read up about her proposal on the web: a good place to start would be John Cassidy’s column in the New Yorker entitled “Why Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Would Work” https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/elizabeth-warrens-wealth-tax-is-an-old-idea-and-its-time-has-come
and an article in The Economist entitled “Rich People’s Problems”
https://www.economist.com/the-world-if/2019/07/06/rich-peoples-problems
A useful paper about the practicalities of introducing a wealth tax has been written by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman (“How would a progressive wealth tax work? …”) and it can be found on the internet.
In Canada, the New Democratic Party has in the past proposed a 1% wealth tax on those with net worth over $20 million.
Once you have a good idea of what a wealth tax would entail, you should read a paper about introducing such a tax into Canada by Robin Boadway and Pierre Pestieau entitled “Over the Top: Why an Annual Wealth Tax for Canada is Unnecessary”, published by the C.C. Howe Institute and downloadable at https://www.cdhowe.org/sites/default/files/attachm…
You should keep in mind as you read this paper (and all the other papers) that it represents a point of view, and is not the “last word” on the issue. That is, you should be reading all the papers critically.
I will provide exact questions when you arrive at the room. In general, I will expect you to use what you have learned in this course to address the general issue of whether a wealth tax should be introduced in Canada and the specific equity implications of such a tax.

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