Christopher Nolan Net Worth: 'Interstellar' Movie Director Should Be Taxed More

'Interstellar' is in theaters now. Paramount Pictures

Christopher Nolan Net Worth

Much of the ire in the roiling debate over income inequality in America (dampened somewhat by the limping recovery) has been reserved for the bankers and financial institutions who not only destroyed the world economy, but have also profited immensely off doing so. But the solution to resolving income inequality is less about the tingly feeling I’d get from taxing Lloyd Blankfein into an aneurysm, and more about the positive societal results of more redistributive tax brackets. When supporters of progressive taxation only make the case by talking about the most despised elements of the 1 percent it’s easy to conflate good policy and revenge. But higher tax rates of even the beloved rich would be a good thing. That’s why we should tax the shiz out of Christopher Nolan.

“Interstellar,” directed by Christopher Nolan, arrives in film theaters on Nov. 5. But let’s talk about something different for a moment. In just a few short years Christopher Nolan went from the indie darling who created “Memento” to the indispensable hit-maker behind “The Dark Knight,” “Inception,” and “Dark Knight Rises.” “Interstellar” is his hotly anticipated tribute to “2001: A Space Odyssey.” It’s hard to find someone outside of Steve Jobs who is more widely viewed as a talented genius worthy of whatever rewards come his way (and, unlike Steve Jobs, Christopher Nolan isn’t dogged by stories of how big of a wang he is to subordinates). But that doesn’t matter when it comes to the realities of how unevenly income is distributed in America. 

Christopher Nolan Net Worth Revealed

Christopher Nolan has a net worth estimated at $135 to $150 million. But he’s about to make a big leap forward, with the release of “Interstellar,” as he’ll be taking home 10 percent of the box office receipts. Nolan made $69 million on “Inception” alone. Just like with Bill Gates or Michael Jordan or Jamie Dimon, Christopher Nolan is in a category of income that is socially irresponsible and gratuitous in the face of our country’s mounting need

America is becoming a grotesquely unequal country, a funhouse mirror version of the capitalist incentive at the core of the American work ethic. We now face greater income inequality than the infamously class stratified U.K., putting us more in line with the oligarchical distribution of countries like Chile and Mexico. Economic growth, especially in this moribund recovery, has gone overwhelmingly to the net worth of the upper class. The solution during the era of America’s greatest growth and prosperity was higher taxes. It can be the solution again.

Less Net Worth For Christopher Nolan, More Net Worth For Us

An excellent argument could be made for a maximum income, which would limit the amount of money Christopher Nolan could add to his net worth in a single year. Anything above the maximum, let’s use Hamilton Nolan’s $5 million, would be taxed at 99 percent. How would this play out for Christopher Nolan (who, while rich, is not even in the realms of the super rich)? The year “Inception” came out Nolan made $72 million. Under our radical maximum income redistribution proposal Nolan would still make $5,670,000. That’s right, even after taxing 99 cents of every dollar over $5 million, Nolan would still make $670,000 over the maximum income, putting him in the 1 percent of all income earners nearly three times over with what amounts to the income equivalent of Christopher Nolan pocket change. Even radical distribution leaves Christopher Nolan with an outrageous net worth. In other words, this plan ain’t socialism.

But less radical methods of taxing the bejesus out of Christopher Nolan would also be great. Right now the top tax rate is only 39.6 percent (for income over $400,000) and even that rate is riddled with loopholes like capital gains. As recently as 1986 that rate was 50 percent. Even more astounding, it was 70 percent until 1981 and a truly redistributive 91 percent from 1944 to 1961, right in the midst of the post-War boom.

Everyone with high incomes should be taxed more, not just the bankers. Because it’s not about revenge, it’s about policies that best confront the most dire structural problem the United States faces. Christopher Nolan made good “Batman” movies and is by all accounts a singular talent and a decent person (if a bit of an overly precise fussbudget). And yet he too should face far higher taxes. So let’s all pay our $7.96 (Seriously? That’s the average? Why am I paying like $17?) to see the new Christopher Nolan movie “Interstellar” when it comes out Nov. 5. But right after we should pigeonhole some senators and make sure that our money goes back in to the consumer society that has embraced the talent of Christopher Nolan and made him the high net worth success he’s become.

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