In France, the return of the solidarity wealth tax (ISF) continues to be demanded by the left and part of the citizens. The government is excluding it for now, but around the world, some very wealthy people say they are ready to put their hands on the wallet in the context of the crisis linked to the coronavirus epidemic.
A group of 83 millionaires, mostly Americans, published a letter on Monday July 13 asking for more tax. “We don’t drive the ambulances that take the sick to the hospital. We do not restock supermarket shelves and we do not deliver meals at home, begin these wealthy taxpayers. But we have money, lots of money. Money the world badly needs. “
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The donations and generosity of wealthy benefactors cannot be a substitute for state action to distribute funds fairly, they say. To manage the emergency and best fund schools, health systems and food circuits, the role of governments is essential and the coronavirus epidemic has demonstrated this.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and the Disney heiress
“Unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we are not at risk of losing our jobs, our homes or our ability to support our families. We are not fighting on the front lines and we will undoubtedly be less victims of the health tragedy. So tax us “, claim the members of the action ” millionaires for Humanity (“The millionaires for humanity”, in French).
Among the signatories, some well-known names like Jerry Greenfield, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice creams, the British director Richard Curtis or the heiress Abigail Disney, documentary filmmaker and granddaughter of the co-founder of Disney studios. Other personalities of the movement are less media, like the Canadian sisters Trottier, at the head of the family foundation of the same name.
American “patriotic millionaires”
Several of them were already united in the American initiative of “patriotic millionaires”, born in 2010, which militates for a progressive taxation according to income and without ceiling, and a minimum wage which allows to live decently. Without being politically committed for the moment, the initiative, led by a former manager of the asset manager BlackRock, says “Ready to support almost any candidate who runs against Donald Trump” for the US presidential election in November 2020.
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Income inequality is a recurring topic in the debate in the United States. For years, billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have been asking for more tax. And the coronavirus crisis has brought the theme back to the fore, while the OECD forecasts a decline in world GDP of at least 6% this year.