- A group of millionaires are begging governments to tax them "immediately. Substantially. Permanently" in order to fund the world's recovery from the coronavirus.
- In an open letter with 83 signatures, the millionaires said that government taxation rather than charity is needed to address the fallout from the virus.
- The signatories include Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield and Disney heiress Abigail Disney.
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A group of 83 millionaires are pleading in an open letter to be taxed more in order to pay for the damage COVID-19 had caused to economies around the world.
Signatories to the letter, addressed to "our fellow global citizens," called themselves "Millionaires for Humanity."
The group, and include Disney heirs Abigail and Tim Disney, Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield, and "Love, Actually" director Richard Curtis.
Most of the group signed the letter from the US. It also includes signatories from Germany, the UK, Canada, and New Zealand.
The signatories said that the extra governmental challenges of providing healthcare and education, and helping struggling businesses — all of which have been hit hard by the pandemic — cannot be solved through charity.
They do not drive ambulances, serve hospital wards, or stock grocery shelves amid the pandemic, the group admitted. "But we do have money," they wrote. "Lots of it."
The group said the responsibility lies with government to raise the funds needed to address the issues that they said will last for decades, they wrote.
"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," they wrote, calling on governments to tax them "immediately. Substantially. Permanently."
They ended the letter saying: "So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice."
Some of the signatories are well known for their stance on higher taxation, such as Greenfield, who has long supported progressive causes and signed a similar letter in 2017, according to CNBC.
More recently, several of the letter's signatories already joined a similar effort in June, in an open letter asking US presidential candidates to support a moderate wealth tax.
Stephen R. English, Abigail Disney, and Catherine Gund — all signatories to the "Millionaires for Humanity" letter — signed this one too.
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