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Ten Richest Men Double Their Fortunes in the Pandemic as Incomes of 99 Percent of Humanity Fall

Abigail Disney: “There is more than enough money to solve most of the world’s problems. It’s just being held in the hands of millionaires and billionaires who aren’t paying their fair share.”
WASHINGTON -

The world's ten wealthiest men saw their fortunes more than double from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion dollars, a rate of over $1.2 billion per day - since the pandemic started, as 99% of humanity has seen their income decline. 

This earth shattering report comes as part of OxFam’s Inequality Kills briefing released today, which includes other staggering statistics such as:

  • Someone dies as a direct result of inequality every four seconds.

  • The 10 richest men in the world, a group which includes Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Larry Ellison, now collectively have over six times more wealth than the poorest 3.1 billion people on the planet combined. 

  • If billionaires had paid a 99% tax on their windfalls during the COVID-19 pandemic, just the gains of the 10 wealthiest men would be enough to pay for vaccines for everyone in the world, universal healthcare, and social protection.

In response to this colossal surge of wealth by the billionaire class, the Patriotic Millionaires and its sister organization in the UK are calling for global leaders to double down their efforts to combat inequality through taxation. 

Patriotic Millionaire Abigail Disney, Walt Disney’s grand-niece who has earned significant attention for her advocacy on economic inequality and her criticism of excessive CEO pay, makes an impassioned plea in her foreword for the Oxfam report for governments to start taking seriously the obvious solution to these problems - taxing the rich. She writes:

"The answer to these complicated problems is ironically simple: taxes. Mandatory, inescapable, ambitious tax reform on an international level— this is the only way to fix what is broken. Without high-functioning governments actively using plentiful resources to redress these injustices, we will head yet further down the rabbit hole the wealthy class has dug for us all.

There is more than enough money to solve most of the world’s problems. It’s just being held in the hands of millionaires and billionaires who aren’t paying their fair share."

Abigail’s advocacy on this and other critical inequality issues continues on January 24th, when her new film The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales will have its world premiere at the Sundance Festival. The film uses Abigail’s family’s story as a backdrop to better understand inequality in America and why the American Dream seems to work out well for wealthy people but not for everyone else.

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The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country’s political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three “first” principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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