Taxes, Income Inequality, and Legos

Pile of Legos

The Lesson: The rich have more Legos than you.



Last week this video on federal taxes and income inequality started making the rounds online.



The video is of David Wessel – the director of the Hutchins Center at the Brookings Institute – explaining how the current US tax code doesn’t close the gap on income inequality as well as we think it does. They present this by using Legos to make their point. Thus not only creating a damning critique of inequality in America, but also introducing the worst Lego set ever conceived.


Lego Income Inequality Set

“It’s depressing at any age, whether your 8 or 80!”



While the video does make the point that the US tax system does reduce income inequality, it also addresses there is still a considerable gap between the top and bottom income brackets even after taxes. Compared to countries like Germany, Sweden, and Norway, the problem of income inequality in the US is much worse.


Some have theorized that instead of debating over reducing income taxes (ie the tax that affects rich people the most), the US should be focusing on debating payroll taxes (ie the taxes that everyone else that isn’t rich basically pays). A report by the Joint Committee of Taxation found that about 65% of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes each year.


Now if you’re wondering where you fall in regards to whether payroll taxes or income taxes matter to you more, we’ve devised a simple test. Take a look at this $400 Lego Star Wars Death Star set and ask yourself, “is this too much to spend on Legos?” If your answer is yes, then it’s a safe bet you probably pay more in payroll taxes each year.


Because as of this moment, that’s the new brass ring in terms of the American Dream!


Lego Star Wars Death Star

“Move over house and white-picket fence, you’ve just been replaced!”




(Photo Credit:, Target)


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