Millionaires call for an emergency tax on billionaires

Whereas the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for most individuals on the earth, for a choose group of individuals it has been a growth time: billionaires. That group has seen their wealth skyrocket by a mixed $5.5 trillion for the reason that starting of the pandemic, according to data from Oxfam, the Combat Inequality Alliance, the Institute for Coverage Research, and the Patriotic Millionaires. And it’s these teams that at the moment are calling for a one-time tax on billionaires to assist stem the devastating well being and financial impression of the pandemic on the remainder of the folks on the planet.

The teams are calling for a one-time 99% tax on the wealth billionaires accrued throughout the pandemic, which might increase $5.4 trillion {dollars}, which in flip would cowl the price of absolutely vaccinating each particular person on the planet whereas additionally cowl giving a $20,000 money grant to everybody on the planet who has develop into unemployed throughout the pandemic.

If a 99% tax on billionaires’ pandemic wealth beneficial properties looks like lots, Oxfam and the opposite teams level out that even after the one-time tax, the world’s 2,690 billionaires would nonetheless be $55 billion richer than earlier than the pandemic ravaged the globe.


And because the chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, Morris Pearl, factors out, a one-time tax on the wealthiest has a protracted historical past of precedent, “After World Wars I and II, one-off wealth taxes have been levied in European nations and Japan to fund reconstruction. France, for instance, taxed extreme wartime wealth beneficial properties at a fee of one hundred pc after the Second World Warfare. Extra just lately, following the worldwide monetary disaster of 2008, nations together with Iceland launched short-term wealth taxes to assist refill public coffers.”

The teams additionally level out that billionaires’ wealth has elevated extra over the previous 17 months than over the past 15 years mixed, and for the reason that outbreak of the pandemic the world has minted 325 new billionaires.

“Billionaire Jeff Bezos may personally pay for sufficient vaccines for the entire world, but he would relatively spend his wealth on a thrill trip to area. COVID-19 is popping the hole between wealthy and poor into an unbridgeable chasm,” Max Lawson, Oxfam Worldwide’s International Inequality Coverage Lead stated in a launch asserting for the creation of a one-time wealth tax. “The obscene ranges of wealth gained from the pandemic by a handful of mega wealthy people ought to instantly be taxed at 99 p.c ―sufficient to totally vaccinate everybody on Earth and assist thousands and thousands of staff who misplaced their jobs as a consequence of COVID-19. Solely with this sort of radical and progressive coverage making will we be capable of battle inequality and finish poverty.”