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Activists Marlene Engelhorn and Phil White demand that the rich get taxed at a May 22, 2022 protest outside the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland. (Photo: Patriotic Millionaires U.K./Twitter)

Millionaires Call on Davos Elite to Address Inequality and Hunger

Over 150 millionaires delivered a statement to the World Economic Forum, calling on Davos attendees to take on wealth inequality.

Chuck Collins

 by Inequality.org

Beginning on May 24, the World Economic Forum is gathering in Davos, Switzerland for an in-person meeting, discussing the global tax system and financial inclusion. Thanks to protests and new research, however, participants will not be able to avoid the elephant in the room: the surging inequality of wealth during the pandemic.

National governments should levy both windfall wealth taxes and annual wealth taxes to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share and that societies are able to make urgent investments in health and social protection.

As the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Inequality.org have documented over the last two years of a global pandemic, billionaire assets have surged while millions lost their lives and livelihoods.

A new report from Oxfam dramatizes how hundreds of millions of people around the world have slid further into poverty during this time period. In a detailed examination of the food and agriculture industry, Oxfam found that billionaires in that industry saw their wealth increase by $382 billion during the pandemic. An emergency windfall tax on their wealth increase alone (to say nothing of their pre-pandemic billions) could end world hunger and double the incomes of 545 million small-scale farmers.

In January, an analysis by the Fight Inequality Alliance, Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam, and the Patriotic Millionaires found that an annual wealth tax starting at just 2 percent for those with more than $5 million, 3 percent for those with over $50 million, and up to 5 percent for billionaires could generate upwards of $2.52 trillion a year. That's enough to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, fund vaccines for everyone in the world, and deliver universal healthcare and social protections for all the citizens of low-and lower-middle-income countries.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Chuck Collins

Chuck Collins

Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he co-edits Inequality.org, and is author of the new book, "Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good."  He is co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, recently merged with the Patriotic Millionaires. He is co-author, with Bill Gates Sr., of "Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes."

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