Spending a couple billion on the IRS seems like it would be as pretty smart investment:
More than 20% of the wealthiest Americans’ income isn’t being reported to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a new study that calculates U.S. tax evasion is far higher than previously estimated.
Random audits of the rich can detect some tax evasion, but the study’s authors found that the IRS easily misses income hidden in sophisticated ways, including in private businesses and offshore structures. Collecting all unpaid income tax from the top 1% would boost revenue to the U.S. Treasury by $175 billion a year.
The wealthy have made so much in gains the past few decades while the rest have just been screwed, and they cheat because they can. It’s to the point they don’t even know what to do with the money, they have so much of it:
I have just taken a picture of my chair. I am not going to go through the trouble of doing any of this, but I have it on good authority that I can now host an auction for that digital photo, and sell the unique “ownership” of it to the highest bidder. That winner can then display the photo online, and while anyone could simply download it and own a lossless copy of it themselves, a record on the blockchain will confer the true owner the knowledge that they have the original.
They get nothing else, really, except that knowledge. Anyone in the world can look at or even acquire the same JPEG file from the internet. This is ownership as a feeling. And it’s the biggest innovation in the art world. One of these JPEGs just sold for $69.3 million (not a typo). And it’s further confirmation that decades of inequality have left the idle rich with entirely so much money that they do entirely ridiculous things. And where money goes, scams are sure to follow.
There is a point to crypto art, though you have to squint to see it. Artists put out limited-edition prints all the time, which aren’t entirely discernible from a printed copy, aside from the artist’s signature and the knowledge that there aren’t many in the world. By auctioning a non-fungible token (NFT) that confers ownership, artists can also deliver a scarce object to fans, and get direct compensation for it. This could prove useful in businesses with a lot of direct intermediation between artists and fans, like music. Kings of Leon selling an NFT that can unlock concert tickets and digital art gives big Kings of Leon fans a way to support the band’s work, rather than funnel their funds to a record label or streaming company.