Millionaires group calls for wealth tax at Davos forum
A group of more than 100 high-net-worth individuals issued an open letter at the virtual World Economic Forum on Tuesday calling on countries to establish permanent wealth taxes in order to fund public services.
The group, known as Patriotic Millionaires, addressed their fellow millionaires and billionaires in their open letter, titled “In tax we trust,” saying, “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,” they wrote.
According to the group, the unfair tax system present in many countries has created ” a colossal lack of trust between the people of the world and the elites who are the architects of this system.”
“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,” wrote the group.
“It’s taxes or pitchforks. Let’s listen to history and choose wisely,” they added.
The signatories of the letter were mostly from the U.S., though wealthy individuals from eight other Western countries including Canada, Germany and Denmark also signed the letter.
Patriotic Millionaires was founded in 2010 as a nonpartisan U.S. lobbying group aimed at ending Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthy and has since begun lobbying globally for enhanced taxation on the rich.
British entrepreneur Gemma McGough, a founding member of the group, said in a statement, “A common value most people share is that if something’s not fair then it’s not right. But tax systems the world over have unfairness built-in, so why should people trust them?”
“They are asked to shoulder our shared economic burden again and again, while the richest people watch their wealth, and their comfort, continue to rise. For all our well-being — rich and poor alike — it’s time we right the wrongs of an unequal world. It’s time we tax the rich,” said McGough.