More than 200 members of the world’s super-rich elite have urged governments to “tax us, the ultra-rich, now” to assist billions of people suffering from the cost-of-living crisis.
The group of 205 millionaires and billionaires, including the Disney heiress Abigail Disney and The Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo, on Wednesday, called on world leaders and business executives meeting in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF) to urgently introduce wealth taxes to help tackle “extreme inequality”.
“The current lack of action is deeply troubling. “A meeting of the ‘global elite’ in Davos to discuss ‘cooperation in a fragmented world’ is pointless if the root cause of division is not challenged,” they wrote in an open letter published on Wednesday. “Defending democracy and building cooperation requires action to build fairer economies right now – it is not a problem that can be left for our children to fix. “The time has come to address extreme wealth; the time has come to tax the ultra-rich.”
In the letter entitled “the cost of extreme wealth”, the millionaires, from 13 countries, said: “The history of the last five decades is a story of wealth flowing nowhere but upwards. This trend has accelerated significantly in recent years. Everyone can see the solution. You, our global representatives, must begin taxing us, the ultra-rich, immediately.”
The signatories, who describe themselves as “patriotic millionaires,” warned that inaction could lead to disaster. “There’s only so much stress any society can take, only so many times mothers and fathers will watch their children go hungry while the ultra-rich contemplate their growing wealth. The cost of action is much lower than the cost of inaction; it’s time to get to work.”
Analysis of Research
It comes as new research shows that the richest 1% have reaped nearly two-thirds of the new wealth created since the outbreak. Oxfam, a development charity, discovered that by the end of 2021, the wealthy had amassed $26 trillion (£21 trillion) in new wealth. This accounted for 63% of total new wealth, with the remaining 99% sharing the rest.
According to Oxfam, the rise in extreme wealth is being accompanied by an increase in extreme poverty for the first time in a quarter-century, and it is calling for new taxes on the super-rich. A five percent tax on the world’s multimillionaires and billionaires could raise $1.7 trillion per year, enough to lift 2 billion people out of poverty and fund a global hunger-reduction plan.