Wealth. It's one of the nation's signal, polarizing issues, because the other side of the cultural coin is inequality. Those who have it in most cases earned it, and in a fair number of cases, earned it the hard way. At the same time, the divide between those who have it and those who can not pay their bills starts to reflect on the health and well-being of society on a broader scale.
New York Times staffers Noam Sheiber and Patricia Cohen explore ways that the nation's uber wealthy pursue shelters, shields, "loopholes" to preserve as much as they can from the clutches of the U.S. tax system. They write:
With inequality at its highest levels in nearly a century and public debate rising over whether the government should respond to it through higher taxes on the wealthy, the very richest Americans have financed a sophisticated and astonishingly effective apparatus for shielding their fortunes. Some call it the “income defense industry,” consisting of a high-priced phalanx of lawyers, estate planners, lobbyists and anti-tax activists who exploit and defend a dizzying array of tax maneuvers, virtually none of them available to taxpayers of more modest means.