Taxes should be increased on the wealthy to help the world weather the ravages of COVID-19, a group of progressive super rich people urged in an open letter to “Our Fellow Global Citizens.”
“Today, we, the undersigned millionaires, ask our governments to raise taxes on people like us,” said the letter signed by some 83 millionaires from the U.S., Germany, New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands. “Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.”
Those who signed the letter from the group that calls itself Millionaires for Humanity included Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield, Disney heirs Abigail and Tim Disney, former BlackRock managing director Morris Pearl, and British screenwriter and “Love, Actually” and “Four Wedding and a Funeral” director Richard Curtis.
The push to hike taxes on the wealthy reflects concerns that “the current system is unsustainable,” Pearl told CBS “MoneyWatch.”
“Having a few rich people and a lot of poor people won’t work in the long term,” he said. “Over the long run I want my children and grandchildren to have the opportunities that I did — and they won’t be able to if we don’t change course.”
Pearl said he’s wealthier than he was before COVID-19, thanks to stock gains, and “I don’t even work for a living.” Because of the pandemic, “there are millions of people who aren’t able to earn anything — they don’t have earnings from a stock portfolio.”
The millionaires acknowledged in their letter that they’re not working on the coronavirus front lines, nor do they worry about jobs, their homes, supporting their families, or health care.
“We are not the ones caring for the sick in intensive care wards ... driving the ambulances ... restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food door to door,” the letter noted.
“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.”
Charity from the rich isn’t the answer, they argued, no matter how generous. The wealthy should pay a larger share of taxes, which they believe would be fair.
“Government leaders must take the responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly,” the letter stated. “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 continued: “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.”
Today 83 millionaires from seven countries, the “Millionaires for Humanity”, released an open letter to governments, calling for a permanent tax increase on the very wealthiest to help pay for the global recovery from the #COVID19 crisis.
Please support→ https://t.co/ldYD8RjK8f pic.twitter.com/e06N4GQqQE
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) July 13, 2020
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.