“Our request is simple: tax us, the very richest in society,” they write in an open letter.
“If elected representatives of the world’s leading economies do not take steps to address the dramatic rise of economic inequality, the consequences will continue to be catastrophic,” the letter writes.

Among the letter’s signatories: Valerie Rockefeller, heir to the American oil and industry dynasty; actor Brian Cox, best known for playing billionaire businessman Logan Roy on HBO’s Succession; and filmmaker Abigail Disney, who’s long leaned on her last name to publicly campaign for wealth reform.

“I could be a billionaire if I wanted to be a billionaire, and I’m not because I don’t want to be a billionaire,” Disney told New York Magazine’s The Cut in 2019. “That’s an insane amount of money. But it’s the easiest thing in the world to make money if you start with money.”

A new poll released by advocacy group Patriotic Millionaires finds that 75% of the uber-wealthy support a 2% wealth tax on billionaires. Plenty are willing to apply that standard to their own bank accounts, too: 66% of respondents agreed that they would support higher taxes on themselves if the revenue would be used to provide better public services and a more stable economy.

The report surveyed 2,385 people living in G20 countries who hold more than $1 million in investable assets, excluding their housing. Patriotic Millionaires is also one of the groups behind the open letter.

In countries like the US, the chasm between the rich and the poor continues to widen. One long-term analysis found that over three decades, the net worth of the top 1% of Americans swelled by $21 trillion, while that of the bottom 50% dropped by $900 billion. Today, the bottom 50% of American households own just 2% of the nation’s wealth.

Imposing a 2% tax on the world’s billionaires alone would raise almost $250 billion annually, according to a recent report by the EU Tax Observatory.

“The true measure of a society can be found not just in how it treats its most vulnerable, but in what it asks of its wealthiest members,” the letter writes. “Our future is one of tax pride, or economic shame. That’s the choice.”

The world’s 1st trillionaire is on our heels as the rest of us are getting poorer By 2034, one of the world’s richest men – Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Warren Buffett or Bernard Arnault – could be the first trillionaire.

A recent report from Oxfam International, an organization focused on the alleviation of global poverty, found that these five wealthy men are 114 percent richer than they were in 2020. This “supercharged surge in extreme wealth” has only widened the wealth gap with nearly five billion people having been made poorer since the pandemic, according to the report.

“The United States is home to the most billionaires on Earth, including Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, names that have become synonymous with obscene wealth,” Oxfam American President and CEO Abby Maxman said in a statement. Currently, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and owner of X (Twitter), is considered the world’s richest person, with a net worth of $226.6 billion.

While America holds the most billionaires and ranks first as the richest nation – in terms of gross domestic product – still 37.9 million Americans live in poverty making below $12,880. People across the world are working more hours and picking up side gigs as the wages of nearly 800 million workers globally have remained the same for two years despite inflation, Oxfam reports.


Image courtesy Illustration / Alexis Wray

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