Dozens of wealthy individuals calling themselves Millionaires for Humanity are asking the Trump administration and other Western governments to raise taxes on the rich in order to fund recovery efforts during the coronavirus crisis.
“As Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world,” the group said in an open letter Monday. “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.”
The group, which is dominated by Americans but includes citizens of the U.K., Germany, New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands, said it was asking “our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.”
The letter’s signatories include Walt Disney Co. heir Abigail Disney, Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield and former BlackRock managing director Morris Pearl. According to The Guardian, the letter was organized by several liberal groups including the Patriotic Millionaires, Oxfam and the Club of Rome.
Some additional quotes from the letter:
- “The impact of this crisis will last for decades. It could push half a billion more people into poverty. Hundreds of millions of people will lose their jobs as businesses close, some permanently. Already, there are nearly a billion children out of school, many with no access to the resources they need to continue their learning. And of course the absence of hospital beds, protective masks, and ventilators is a painful, daily reminder of the inadequate investment made in public health systems across the world.”
- “The problems caused by, and revealed by, Covid-19 can’t be solved with charity, no matter how generous. 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.”
- “Unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we do not 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.”