Taxes! Nobody likes taxes, but they have, famously, been called the price we pay for civilization. Since the earliest days of the Republic, taxes have played a controversial part in our democracy and the ideal of equality that underlies it. Historian Colin Gordon explores the growth of economic inequality in late 20th and early 21st century United States and its implications for a healthy democracy. Michael Widmer, former president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, examines how tax policy can support or lessen economic inequality. During previous eras of great economic inequality, government programs attempted to level the playing field. What can citizens do to spur a more equitable distribution of wealth today?
This program is funded in part by MassHumanities.