Josh Hoxie

Josh Hoxie directs the Project on Opportunity and Tax at the Institute for Policy Studies. He recently co-authored the report "Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us." He can be reached at

Recent Articles

Half of Prince's $300 Million Estate Could Be Taxed. That's a Good Thing.

The late pop star eschewed tax-dodging chicanery and will still leave a sizable fortune to his heirs—as well as to the taxpayers who helped him succeed.

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
The massive global outpouring of emotion in the wake of the sudden death of pop sensation Prince has mostly subsided. What’s left is likely a prolonged dispute over his sizable estate, valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars—a dilemma made ever more complicated by his lack of a will. Rooted in this dispute is an open question: How much of what Prince earned should go to the U.S. Treasury? By any measure, Prince was an exceptionally productive musician. He racked up seven Grammy awards and released 39 studio albums, not to mention the reported 100 albums he recorded but never released. For this work, he was paid handsomely, generating a fortune worth over $300 million at his death. Beyond his own talent, hard work, and a bit of luck, though, what else contributed to this fortune? If you're a taxpayer, you did. Consider the help that Prince, a lifelong Minnesotan, received from the country’s public intellectual property laws, which protected his music from...

How to Redistribute Wealth—Without the Guillotine

We can't just tax billionaires’ paychecks. We should tax the wealth they've already amassed.

AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
I stumbled into the crowded bookstore on a cold winter day a few years ago, rushing to catch a glimpse of the author speaking in the back. As is my custom, I was late and his speech was well underway. The question and answer began and someone in the crowd asked something I hear often at events like this one: “Don’t you get tired of banging your head against the wall? Is there any room for hope?” The speaker laughed a bit before responding quite seriously that he was indeed quite hopeful. Things may look hopeless in the very near term, but the change he’s talking about takes decades. The author was Gar Alperovitz, speaking about his most recent book, What Then Must We Do? The line is one he’s repeated often—and one that’s stuck with me ever since: If you’re in the business of social change, you have to think in terms of decades. It’s with this lesson in mind that we should consider taking on one of the most pressing problems of our...