Tens of millionaires are demanding higher taxes – on themselves.
More than 80 seven-figure men and women from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands, who call themselves “Millionaires for Humanity”, signed an open letter calling on their governments “to raise taxes on people like us”. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.”
“So, please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It’s the right choice. It’s the only choice.”
Signatories include Walt Disney Co.
heiress Abigail Disney, Ben & Jerry co-founder Jerry Greenfield, former BlackRock CEO Morris Pearl, and the director of “Love, Actually” Richard Curtis.
Some, like Disney and Pearl, are also members of the “Patriotic Millionaires” club, a few hundred ultra-rich Americans who have lobbied for higher taxes to help bridge the wealth gap.
The “Millionaires for Humanity” note in their new letter that they are not driving ambulances, restocking supermarket shelves or delivering food as essential workers have done throughout the pandemic. “We owe a huge debt to the people working on the front lines of this global battle,” the millionaires write. They add that 70 per cent of health workers are women and that most essential workers are “grossly underpaid” while exposing themselves and their families to the risk of contracting the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 every day.
“Unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we don’t have to worry about losing our jobs, our homes or our ability to provide for our families. We are not on the front line in this emergency and we are much less likely to fall victim to it,” the millionaires write.
“But we have money, lots of money,” they add. “Money we desperately need now and will continue to need in the years to come as our world recovers from this crisis.”
It should be noted that these millionaires can at any time write a cheque for the relief of coronaviruses, of course. Microsoft
founder Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to Feeding America, although the e-commerce giant has also been criticized for the way it managed the security of its warehouse employees during the pandemic.
The “Millionaires for Humanity” say that charity alone cannot help us through this crisis, however. “Government leaders must take responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly,” they say. “We can ensure that we properly fund our health systems, our schools and our security by permanently raising taxes on the world’s richest people, people like us.”
As of Monday, 12.9 million people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19 and 569,128 have died from it, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Millions of Americans are unemployed. Globally, an estimated 1.3 billion children were taken out of school as the pandemic spread – and nearly 370 million of them depend on school meals.