Synopses & Reviews
When Wealth and Our Commonwealth was first published in hardcover, coverage was intense and widespread: virtually all of the national broadcast and print media ran interviews and reviews. The adamant argument for reform, not reversal, of the most progressive tax in our nation continues to resonate. This edition, with a new preface by the authors, is sure to continue to fuel the debate.
Gates, a happy warrior and a bear of a man, has thrown his formidable resources into making sure that he and people like him pay a decent share of the cost of government. He and Collins are doing urgent work. . . . Inheritance taxes would fall only on the largest estates. That, said Gates, is entirely just. As he puts it, those who were best able to take advantage of what society has to offer have a debt to pay. Its a concept no less worthy for being old-fashioned.” E. J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post
If you doubt whether there are any truly public-spirited Americans left, let me introduce Bill Gates Sr. and Chuck Collins. Their new book is worth reading for its fascinating history of the conservative estate-tax repeal movement alone. But more than that, Wealth and Our Commonwealth challenges us all, rich and not-so-rich, to a more strenuous and farsighted notion of citizenship.”Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
Bill Gates and Chuck Collins provide a clear rationale for retaining the estate tax in this helpful and unselfish analysis.”Jimmy Carter, Winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize
As this book reminds us, inheritance taxes are not about raising tax revenue. They are about What Kind of a Nation Do We Want to Be? Economics is inevitably a relay race where participants do not start from the same point, but we can limit how large those gaps are. This book gets our thoughts back on the right issues.”Lester Thurow, author of The Future of Capitalism and Building Wealth: New Rules for Individuals
More than a thousand individuals of high net worth rose up to protest the repeal of the estate tax-Newsweek tagged them the "billionaire backlash." The primary visionaries of that group, Bill Gates Sr. and Chuck Collins, argue here that individual wealth is a product not only of hard work and smart choices but of the society that provides the fertile soil for succes. Weaving personal narratives, history, and plenty of solid economic sense, Gates and Collins make a sound and compelling case for estate tax reform, not repeal.
About the Author
William H Gates Sr. is the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. He serves as trustee for a number of Northwest and national organizations, including the national board of United Way.
Chuck Collins is the cofounder and program director of the Boston-based United for a Fair Economy and Responsible Wealth (www.responsiblewealth.org). He is coauthor of several books about economic inequality, including Economic Aparthied in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity.
Paul Volcker is former chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.