This is a linkpost for https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/10/30/20938604/larry-summers-ford-wealth-tax-billionaire-philanthropy
Kelsey Piper, A wealth tax could have unpredictable effects on politics and philanthropy, Vox (October 30, 2019). Some excerpts:
A wealth tax will likely make billionaires spend their money now instead of leaving it to their foundations or their descendants. If billionaires suck (and many proponents of a wealth tax think that they do), this might mean more distortionary political spending on behalf of ideals that most Americans don’t share, rather than less of it.
Some proposals for a wealth tax would transform foundations like the Gates Foundation — and if it had been around in Henry Ford’s day, could have transformed the Ford Foundation.
As I’ve written and as even the fiercest critics of philanthropy have agreed, foundations do essential work in many areas that wouldn’t otherwise get done. Trying to guess the effects of the proposed wealth taxes on these foundations and the work they do really is a conversation we should be having.