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Deliberately designed to make the rich richer

In tax we trust.

To our fellow millionaires and billionaires,

If you’re participating in  the World Economic Forum’s ‘online Davos’ this January , you’re going to be joining an exclusive group of people looking for an answer to the question behind this year’s theme, ‘how do we work together and restore trust?’

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.

Trust – in politics, in society, in one another – is not built in tiny side rooms only accessible by the very richest and most powerful. It’s not built by billionaire space travelers who make a fortune out of a pandemic but pay almost nothing in taxes and provide poor wages for their workers. Trust is built through accountability, through well-oiled, fair, and open democracies that provide good services and support all their citizens.

And the bedrock of a strong democracy is a fair tax system. A fair tax system.

As millionaires, we know that the current tax system is not fair. Most of us can say that, 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 – yet few if any of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share in taxes.

This injustice baked into the foundation of the international tax system has created a colossal lack of trust between the people of the world and the elites who are the architects of this system. Bridging that divide is going to take more than billionaire vanity projects or piecemeal philanthropic gestures – it’s going to take a complete overhaul of a system that up until now has been deliberately designed to make the rich richer.

To put it simply, restoring trust requires taxing the rich. The world – every country in it – must demand the rich pay their fair share. Tax us, the rich, and tax us now.

The truth is that ‘Davos’ doesn’t deserve the world’s trust right now. For all the countless hours spent talking about making the world a better place, the conference has produced little tangible value amidst a torrent of self-congratulations. Until participants acknowledge the simple, effective solution staring them in the face – taxing the rich – the people of the world will continue to see their so-called dedication to fixing the world’s problems as little more than a performance.

History paints a pretty bleak picture of what the endgame of extremely unequal societies looks like. For all our well-being – rich and poor alike – it’s time to confront inequality and choose to tax the rich. Show the people of the world that you deserve their trust.

If you don’t, then all the private talks won’t change what’s coming – it’s taxes or pitchforks. Let’s listen to history and choose wisely.   source

The Signers

  1. Patrick Newman
    January 19, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    Are governments up to taxing the filthy rich who effectively do not have a nationality or place and whose wealth is fleet of foot. Wealthy nations have to be determined to work together to close down tax havens and access the locations of their riches, even if it breaks conventions. They must enact sanctions against countries that do not cooperate like Monaco, BVI British Channel Isles etc.

  2. Edward Ross
    January 19, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    While i certainly with the idea that the rich need to be forced to pay a fair share fair of tax, but to think that a few demonstrations and petitions will encourage them to mend their ways is just wishful thinking. Patrick asks the question are the governments up to the question in my view the answer is no, see how they were all involved in the Panamá paradise papers. Therefore in my view more attention has to be paid to Dean Baker’s idea of stopping them from getting it in the first place. Secondly if the rich get a seat on the table at the Davos table why can’t Dean or other leaders of organization’s such as Oxfam get a seat and be able to state their case. Furthermore it is time to stop pussy footing around and and challenge them openly in an educated manner. Ted

  3. Meta Capitalism
    January 19, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    In the US the Supreme Court under a conservative majority ruled than money equals free speech and therefore cannot be limited from funding political candidates and parties. It was decided in Citizens United and now the Supreme Court, with an even more conservative majority is about to further erode the ability to remove money from corrupting politics at the expense of democracy. When politicians can use great wealth to corrupt politics democracy dies.

    There is no hope that filthy billionaires and trillionaires will pay their fair share of taxes because they can use their wealth to their advantage politically through corrupting the political system or buying their way into political races or running whomever they please or paying armies of lobbyists to write the laws to favor their narcissistic needs.

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