At a time when the Fed is already monetizing the entire US budget deficit thanks to helicopter money, sparking conversations about the utility of taxation, and when a Biden administration is set to at least try and roll back most of the Trump tax cuts, the last thing the population wants to hear about is even more taxes.
Yet in a “modest proposal” from Deutsche Bank, the bank argues that in a time of pervasive covid shutdowns, “those who can work from home (WFH) receive direct and indirect financial benefits and they should be taxed in order to smooth the transition process for those who have been suddenly displaced.”
In other words, the argument goes that working from an office is somehow punitive, and since WFH during the pandemic leads to “many benefits” as a resulting “disconnecting themselves from face-to-face society” a 5% tax for each WFH day “would leave the average person no worse off than if they worked in the office.” The bank calculates that such a tax could raise $49bn per year in the US, €20bn in Germany, and £7bn in the UK. “That can fund subsidies for the lowest-paid workers who usually cannot work from home.”
In the report written by DB strategist Like Tumpleman, he argues that the popularity of WFH was growing even before the pandemic: “between 2005 and 2018, internet technology fuelled a 173 per cent increase in the number of Americans who regularly worked from home. It is true that the overall proportion of people working from home before the pandemic was still small, at 5.4 per cent based on census data, but the growth was still way ahead of the growth in the overall workforce.” – READ MORE
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