Baker Scholar Projects


American Inequality: Taxation and the Rise of Economic Inequality

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What is the relationship between the American taxation system and the rise in economic inequality? This paper will seek to examine, highlight, and identify the impact of United States taxation levels on inequality levels throughout history. This paper will focus on two main periods in American history. The first period is the progressive era from the 1930s - 1970s. This period is known for its high progressive tax rates and low inequality levels. The second period is new gilded age era starting post 1970s marked by tax cuts, and higher levels of inequality. This paper applies qualitative and quantitative research to define tax brackets and the increasing inequality levels in the United States. This paper will examine past literature to help support, provide, and categorize the history of taxation and inequality in the United States. Finally, this paper will explore solutions and reforms in the tax code to decrease inequality levels.

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