As the World Economic Forum gathers in Davos, a striking development has emerged. Millionaires and billionaires, often seen as beneficiaries of global economic policies, are advocating for higher taxes on their wealth. A survey by Survation for the Patriotic Millionaires group reveals a surprising consensus: nearly three-quarters of millionaires in G20 nations support such measures, perceiving extreme wealth as a growing threat to democratic systems.
The survey, polling over 2,300 millionaires, shows that 74% favor higher taxes on wealth, with aims to mitigate the cost-of-living crisis and bolster public services. This significant majority indicates a shift in the attitudes of the wealthy, reflecting a growing awareness of their role in addressing global economic challenges.
Contrasting with the survey’s findings is the stark reality of wealth accumulation since 2020. An Oxfam analysis reports that the world’s billionaires have increased their wealth by $3.3 trillion during this period, while a majority of the global population grapples with economic hardship. This disparity has not gone unnoticed among the wealthy, many of whom now advocate for economic reforms.
Prominent individuals like Guy Singh-Watson express frustration over the inaction against economic disparities. Singh-Watson, a British entrepreneur and member of the Patriotic Millionaires U.K., highlights the urgency for tax reforms, mirroring the sentiments of other affluent survey respondents.
At Davos, a letter endorsed by 260 millionaires and billionaires, including Abigail Disney, urges world leaders to implement higher taxes on the rich. The letter stresses the need to combat income inequality and warns of its catastrophic potential for society.
The survey underscores significant support among the super-rich for wealth taxes, with 58% backing a 2% tax on assets over $10 million. This reflects a growing acknowledgment among the wealthy of the potential democratic threats posed by extreme wealth.
Wealth disparities are not confined to global scales, but are also starkly evident in the UK. The Trades Union Congress suggests that a modest wealth tax on the UK’s richest could generate substantial public service funds, highlighting the concentrated wealth in the hands of a few.
Public figures like Brian Cox lend their voices to the advocacy for economic reforms. Their comments draw attention to the influence of billionaires in politics and the risks this poses to democratic institutions.
This call for higher wealth taxes by millionaires and billionaires represents a notable shift in the discourse on global economic inequality. Their collective advocacy adds a significant perspective to the debate on addressing income disparities and protecting democratic values.
“This poll seems to show that the whole world, including the richest people, wants to tax the super-rich,” said Guy Singh-Watson. “So where on Earth is the leadership from our elected representatives who have the power to actually do it?”