More than 80 of the world’s richest people have publicly called on world governments to initiate immediate, substantial, and permanent taxes on the rich in order the help fund the economic recovery that’s needed as a result of the COVID-19 fallout. The group, which calls itself “Millionaires for Humanity,” includes major names such as Disney heiress Abigail Disney and Jerry Greenfield, the cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
In an open letter posted on the group’s website, its members state, “As Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world. No, we are not the ones caring for the sick in intensive care wards. We are not driving the ambulances that will bring the ill to hospitals. We are not restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food door to door. But we do have money, lots of it. Money that is desperately needed now and will continue to be needed in the years ahead, as our world recovers from this crisis.”
They go on to call for “governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.”
One of the most high-profile signatories of the letter is Abigail Disney, who is no stranger to speaking out about social inequalities and responsibilities—and urging governments to force change. Other high-profile signatories include filmmaker Richard Curtis and Sir Stephen Tindall, New Zealand’s second-richest man.
The letter also points out that the economic and social problems caused and exacerbated by COVID-19 can’t be solved by voluntary charity “no matter how generous.” The letter goes on to argue, “Government leaders must take the responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly. We can ensure we adequately fund our health systems, schools, and security through a permanent tax increase on the wealthiest people on the planet, people like us.”
It ends by noting that the signatories of the letter will never “have to worry about losing our jobs, our homes, or our ability to support our families. We are not fighting on the frontlines of this emergency and we are much less likely to be its victims. So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice. Humanity is more important than our money.”