These two articles, “The Assault on Wealth” and “Capital Gains Tax Hike: No Gains, No Fairness,” led my Hoover colleague Bill Whalen to interview me last Friday. The result is this 47-minute audio. Normally Bill will ask questions and I’ll answer. He did that, but this was more of a two-way conversation because Bill has his own thoughts on the issue. It was fun. By the way, Hoover has made my Assault on Wealth article into a mini-book.

Some highlights follow. (Times are approximate.)

1:50: Bill Whalen quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald on the rich.

4:00: Me on how I think the focus on inequality started. Sylvia Nasar and Bill Clinton were key players.

4:30: Bill quotes Abigail Disney.

6:30: Me on Mr. Miser, Mr. Generosity, and Bob Solow‘s growth model.

11:40: Wealth tax.

15:00: Back to F. Scott Fitzgerald.

15:30: Wealth tax.

17:30: My quite good guess about the number of millionaires in Congress.

18:40: How much wealth do you need to be wealthy?

20:00: My daughter’s question to me in 1999 after seeing her fellow students at Robert Louis Stevenson School in Pebble Beach and the cars they owned. (At the time, we had a 1990 Camry wagon and a 1992 Toyota Celica.) “Dad, are we poor?”

20:30: John D. Rockefeller’s life versus ours.

24:30: Biden’s proposal for a retroactive capital gains tax.

26:00: Why California Democrats should oppose Biden’s tax increase on capital gains.

27:15: The SALT limit and Bernie Sanders calling out his fellow Democrats.

29:30: Liz Warren.

30:30: What members of Congress know and don’t know.

31:08: In which I show how hip I am by connecting the conversation with one of my favorite Progressive Insurance ads.

32:20: The role of envy.

35:00: They earned it. William D. Nordhaus.

36:00: Wealth and race.

38:00: How one of my free-market proposals might both make it easier for people to buy houses and reduce the number of millionaires.

39:30: The flat tax and the VAT.

42:30: The effects of the SALT limit and the higher standard deduction. (I got a little muddled here, forgetting to point out that my analysis depended strongly not just on the SALT limit but also on the high standard deduction. Perhaps you can attribute that to the fact that I was up the night before from 11:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. with what looked like a medical emergency: everyone’s alright though.)

45:00: Assault vs. siege.