But the tax changes in France look a lot like the tax-hikes on the wealthy in the U.S. – lots of politics, lots of headlines, lots of class warfare and and lots of feigned panic on the part of the wealthy and their accountants. But in the end, their taxes stay the same.
We're seeing a similar phenomena in Britain, where a floated tax on wealth is now being discussed as a moderate tax on mansions that's unlikely to get very far. (Read more: Mass Migration of the Super Rich )
Why don't these taxes go anywhere? The left would say they're blocked by a self-interested plutocracy that strong-arms politicians into backing down. The right argues that more rational minds have prevailed and that we shouldn't tax job creators or chase out the top producers.
Either way, wealth taxes are more politics than economic reality these days. When it comes to taxing the rich, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
-By CNBC's Robert FrankFollow Robert Frank on Twitter: @robtfrankPage 2 of 2 | Prev Page