Endowment Taxation and Equality of Resources

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Erick J. Sam


This Article has two primary aims. The first is to provide an in-depth survey of recent legal academic literature on endowment (or ability) taxation, which is a tax on a person’s maximum potential earnings over a given period. This scheme of taxation, which has for some time enjoyed favor as an ideal among economists, has recently gained significant support from tax law scholars as well. The second aim is to demonstrate that a seemingly elegant justification for the endowment tax, which attempts to reconcile the demands of equity and liberty within a certain luck egalitarian framework—Ronald Dworkin’s “equality of resources”—is not ultimately successful. Thus, the firmness of the endowment tax’s normative foundations remains far from

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