Progressive taxes?

I must say that I was taken aback by this piece in Vox by Cathie Jo Martin and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez. It’s about Sweden’s policy of reducing inequality, not by “soaking the rich,” but by imposing taxes on all to fund economic redistribution. Now look at this chart:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.40.08 AM

The authors write:

Countries with the lowest levels of inequality have learned that policies to cultivate skills for all workers and to achieve full employment policies can accelerate economic growth while also reducing inequality. Large investments in human capital reduce societal conflicts over the distribution of resources, even while expanding the economic pie.

The conundrum, it seems to me, is that the Rest of Us have experienced a decline in real wages. Raising our taxes without a corresponding rise in human capital investments would make us even poorer. And keep in mind that one political party in the U.S. loathes anything public.

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