Our Latest Issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Volume 16, Issue 1

Volume 15, Issue 4

Volume 15, Issue 3

Balancing the Carrot and the Stick: Achieving Social Goals Through Real Property Tax Programs

By: Bender, Ryan F. | April 17, 2021

The sharp and growing wealth divide in the United States has elicited significant media and public attention over the past decade, with loud calls for achieving social goals through tax system change. While wealth preservation loopholes in the Internal Revenue Code can contribute to wealth inequalities, tax policies that incentivize socially responsible, tax efficient investment offer an attractive tool for estate planning professionals while also promoting social impact programs. Additionally, while direct government investments into low-income community development, land preservation, and food security are important drivers of change, tax policies that push private capital into these causes are equally important to making a social impact. Through the lens of three widely used estate planning strategies, (i) Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) investments, (ii) conservation easement donations, and (iii) special agricultural appraisals, this Article examines the potential for such strategies to offer wealth-preserving tax breaks while directing private capital toward achieving social goals. There are pitfalls to be considered in the analysis of these programs, including inequality in accessing these tax breaks and potential for taxpayer abuse. Regardless, this Article concludes that well-drafted and properly policed incentive-based programs that offer tax discounts in return for private investments of capital into socially beneficial impact areas can offer an appealing alternative to direct government investment programs.

Trade War, PPE, and Race

By: Hernández-López, Ernesto A. | April 17, 2021

Tariffs on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as face masks and gloves, weaken the American response to COVID. The United States has exacerbated PPE shortages with Section 301 tariffs on these goods, part of a trade war with China. This has a disparate impact felt by minority communities because of a series of health inequity harms. COVID’s racial disparity appears in virus exposure, virus susceptibility, and COVID treatments. This Article makes legal, policy, and race-and-health arguments. Congress has delegated to the United States Trade Representative expansive authority to increase tariffs. This has made PPE supplies casualties of the trade war. In political terms, the Trump administration prioritized increasing tariffs over public health readiness. Regarding race, PPE shortages exemplify the socioeconomic effects of trade policies and add to COVID’s racial disparities.

Pandemic Emotions: The Good, The Bad, and The Unconscious —Implications for Public Health, Financial Economics, Law, and Leadership

By: Huang, Peter H | April 17, 2021

Pandemics lead to emotions that can be good, bad, and unconscious. This Article offers an interdisciplinary analysis of how emotions during pandemics affect people’s responses to pandemics, public health, financial economics, law, and leadership. Pandemics are heart-breaking health crises. Crises produce emotions that impact decision-making. This Article analyzes how fear and anger over COVID-19 fueled anti-Asian and anti-Asian American hatred and racism. COVID-19 caused massive tragic economic, emotional, mental, physical, and psychological suffering. These difficulties are interconnected and lead to vicious cycles. Fear distorts people’s decision readiness, deliberation, information acquisition, risk perception, and thinking. Distortions affect people’s financial, health, and political decisions, causing additional fears. Emotions have direct health impacts and indirect behavioral impacts, which in turn have their own health impacts. People differ vastly in whether, how much, and when they experience anxiety, complacency, and panic during pandemics. A common path is to feel some anxiety initially, then panic, and finally become complacent. This Article advocates these responses to pandemics: (1) paying people directly monthly pandemic financial assistance, (2) encouraging people to practice mindfulness, (3) gently enforcing Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions, (4) fostering accurate information acquisition about pandemics, and (5) applying psychological game theory to better understand emotions that depend on beliefs about leadership.