Giving Compass' Take:

• Dylan Matthews discusses a paper proposing a wealth tax that would remake charity and the implications of having foundations pay out upfront.

• The author says the plan could see philanthropies spending funds more quickly. How could this have a positive or negative impacts?

• Learn about a millionaire's plea for higher taxes on the rich.

In the past year, a massive, predominantly left-wing backlash to mega-philanthropy has broken out. Writers have turned the idea that philanthropy is taking on tasks that are properly the role of government — and allowing the rich to expand their influence and avoid taxation in the process — into a mainstream critique, one that major philanthropists have been forced to answer.

How, exactly, do we transition from the status quo to a world where the rich are taxed enough to shrink the philanthropic sector and the federal government has enough revenue to pick up the slack?

I am persuadable that philanthropy has taken on an excessive role relative to government, but there are still some areas (like foreign aid or reproductive health care) where having a third force besides government and business is valuable.

University of California Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman have provided a plan, in the form of their new paper on wealth taxes.

The new paper considers even bolder options: A “radical” wealth tax of 10 percent of wealth over $1 billion that’s meant to gradually draw down the wealth of billionaires, and a “confiscatory” tax of 90 percent on wealth over $1 billion meant to raise huge sums of revenue all at once and then (by setting a de facto maximum wealth level) never again.

Most strikingly, from a philanthropic perspective, Saez and Zucman propose making foundations and donor-advised funds subject to the wealth tax if they are still controlled by their wealthy benefactor.

It’s hard to overstate how quickly this would transform American philanthropy.

Read the full article about how a wealth tax could remake charity by Dylan Matthews at Vox.