Why isn’t there More Support for Progressive Taxation of Wealth? : A Sociological Contribution to the Wider Debate

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2022
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Savage, Mike
Summers, Kate
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LSE Public Policy Review. LSE Press. 2022, 2(4), 1. eISSN 2633-4046. Available under: doi: 10.31389/lseppr.65
Zusammenfassung

Though the extent of wealth inequality across many nations is now well attested, along with the social and political challenges this might entail, there appears to be relatively little popular support for increased taxation of wealth. We argue that a sociological ‘phenomenological’ perspective of wealth can shed light on this conundrum. Such a perspective accounts for how wealth is experienced and understood by people, revealing its qualitative, extra-economic nature. Though its pecuniary value is certainly salient, wealth is rarely perceived in purely financial terms. This phenomenological perspective draws out that wealth has temporal and relational features that exceed purely economistic calculations. Wealth has temporal features as it conveys future potential and it is relational because acquiring wealth entails familial and social relationships, rather than individualistic and strategic ones. It is seen as taking responsibility for oneself and one’s family. We schematically contrast this with historical periods where wealth was more clearly bound up with visible exclusive relations associated with slavery and the conspicuous consumption of landed estates to suggest that this form of ordinary wealth is not generally perecieved in such exclusionary terms. In a time of welfare retrenchment and anxiety surrounding social safety nets, the temporal and familial qualities of wealth are particularly salient as they connect to private insurance against risk. This orientation helps us to understand why certain forms of wealth may not be identified as socially undesirable or problematic today, even though they may be deeply unevenly distributed.

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
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320 Politik
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perceptions of inequality, qualitative research, wealth, wealth taxation
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ISO 690HECHT, Katharina, Mike SAVAGE, Kate SUMMERS, 2022. Why isn’t there More Support for Progressive Taxation of Wealth? : A Sociological Contribution to the Wider Debate. In: LSE Public Policy Review. LSE Press. 2022, 2(4), 1. eISSN 2633-4046. Available under: doi: 10.31389/lseppr.65
BibTex
@article{Hecht2022there-59366,
  year={2022},
  doi={10.31389/lseppr.65},
  title={Why isn’t there More Support for Progressive Taxation of Wealth? : A Sociological Contribution to the Wider Debate},
  number={4},
  volume={2},
  journal={LSE Public Policy Review},
  author={Hecht, Katharina and Savage, Mike and Summers, Kate},
  note={Article Number: 1}
}
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