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Abigail Disney, other millionaires, slam Davos and urge governments to tax the rich

“It’s taxes or pitchforks. Let’s listen to history and choose wisely.”

Abigail Disney, other millionaires, slam Davos and urge governments to tax the rich
[Source Images: WestEnd61/Getty]

Over 100 millionaires, including Disney heiress Abigail Disney, have signed an open letter urging governments to tax them more, reports Insider. The letter, “In Tax We Trust,” calls out the injustice of the international tax system and how that injustice is driving the erosion of trust across society:

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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.

The open letter comes just days after Oxfam International released a new inequality report showing that 99% of the world’s population saw their income fall during the pandemic while the world’s richest saw their incomes double during the same time. The report noted that this income inequality is leading to the deaths of 21,000 people each day–one every four seconds.

The letter also comes as the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) kicked off this week, which sees the planet’s wealthiest and most powerful come together to discuss the state of the world. The WEF is usually held in Davos, Switzerland, but is being held online this year due to the pandemic. But the letter alleges Davos is little more than a self-congratulatory show:

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.

The letter closes with a bleak warning about what drastically unequal societies lead to, arguing that if wealth isn’t taxed more, “then all the private talks won’t change what’s coming—it’s taxes or pitchforks. Let’s listen to history and choose wisely.”

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About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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