Tax the rich
Working together and restoring trust
Davos
'You're part of the problem'
'The bedrock of a strong democracy'
Covid has caused great suffering for some...
....but the rich got richer
Magic Kingdom nobility
Soros
A moral, ethical and economic responsibility
The Giving Pledge
Recruiting billionaires
Heart of gold
Elon Musk too
Greeks bearing gifts?
Redistribution of wealth
The problem with philanthropy
Billionaire Tax Plan
Mandatory for workers, voluntary for billionaires
Inequality continues...
Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(1/20)
Tax the rich

A group of 102 millionaires and billionaires have released an open letter asking governments around the world to tax them, in order to fight inequality and provide funds for pandemic relief.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(2/20)
Working together and restoring trust

The letter asks a question of those attending the World Economic Forum: "How do we work together and restore trust?"

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(3/20)
Davos

This year the World Economic Forum, where wealthy and influential figures from all over the world gather in Davos, Switzerland, was held online.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(4/20)
'You're part of the problem'

“You’re not going to find the answer in a private forum, surrounded by other millionaires and billionaires and the world’s most powerful people. If you’re paying attention, you’ll find that you’re part of the problem,” the letter states.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(5/20)
'The bedrock of a strong democracy'

The text also highlights how a fair tax system is “the bedrock of a strong democracy” and that to restore the trust in wealthy people, it’s necessary for them to pay their fair share. Undoubtedly, US politicians like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez agree with that message.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(6/20)
Covid has caused great suffering for some...

The Covid-19 pandemic also plays a part in the rationale behind the letter. “While the world has gone through an immense amount of suffering in the last two years, we have actually seen our wealth rise during the pandemic”, the letter laments.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(7/20)
....but the rich got richer

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos reportedly made 85 billion US dollars in 2020 alone, according to Bloomberg.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(8/20)
Magic Kingdom nobility

Signatories of the letter include Tim and Abigail Disney (pictured), heirs of the media empire founded by Walt Disney.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(9/20)
Soros

Of course, this is not the first initiative of its type. In 2019, Hungarian-born billionaire investor George Soros led a letter by a group of rich individuals demanding that the United States approve a new wealth tax.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(10/20)
A moral, ethical and economic responsibility

“America has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more. A wealth tax could help address the climate crisis, improve the economy, improve health outcomes, fairly create opportunity, and strengthen our democratic freedoms”, the letter states, as quoted by Forbes magazine.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(11/20)
The Giving Pledge

Meanwhile, in 2010, Microsoft founder Bill Gates launched The Giving Pledge, a campaign to encourage extremely rich individuals to donate at least half of their wealth.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(12/20)
Recruiting billionaires

Gates, with the aid of American investor Warren Buffett (pictured), has recruited over 230 millionaires and billionaires in 28 countries to be part of The Giving Pledge.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(13/20)
Heart of gold

Among the participants were Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, media mogul Ted Turner, Star Wars creator George Lucas, and Standard Oil heir David Rockefeller.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(14/20)
Elon Musk too

Tesla founder Elon Musk, regarded as one of the richest people in the world, is also part of The Giving Pledge.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(15/20)
Greeks bearing gifts?

“I’ve always believed that if you're in a position to help somebody, you should do it,” declared Bill Gates in 2021, in a statement about the newest to join his cause. However, not everyone considers such initiatives as positive.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(16/20)
Redistribution of wealth

In an opinion piece for The Guardian, British writer Paul Vallely (seen here in 2006) argues that “The common assumption that philanthropy automatically results in a redistribution of money is wrong.”

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(17/20)
The problem with philanthropy

The problem with philanthropy, argues Vallely, is that it is dependent on the wishes and whims of those giving the money and not the needs of those receiving it. Taxation could be a solution for that.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(18/20)
Billionaire Tax Plan

In October 2021, US senator Ron Wyden proposed a “Billionaire Tax Plan” to take into account not just income but overall wealth. However, Republicans and fellow Democratic senators led by Joe Manchin (pictured) opposed it and the plan was quickly defeated.

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(19/20)
Mandatory for workers, voluntary for billionaires

“There are two tax codes in America,” Senator Wyden declared at the time, as quoted by The New York Times. “One that’s mandatory for workers and one that’s voluntary for billionaires.”

Tax The Rich: Over 100 millionaires demand higher taxes to fight inequality
(20/20)
Inequality continues...

Meanwhile, despite the intention of a few of the top earners in the world, unfair taxation and overall inequality continues to be a problem that has only become bigger due to the pandemic.

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