250 Wealthy Individuals Urge Davos Leaders to Tax Them More in Open Letter

Taxes are the only way to get rid of excess money? “We ask you to tax us, the very richest in society,” reads an open letter to the world leaders assembled in Davos, Switzerland, penned by 250 millionaires and billionaires who seem to be gluttons for punishment.

“We’d be proud to pay more,” declares their website, which is thusly named. “This will not fundamentally alter our standard of living, nor deprive our children, nor harm our nations’ economic growth. But it will turn extreme and unproductive private wealth into an investment for our common democratic future.” Signatories include Disney and Rockefeller heiresses, as well as actor Brian Cox.

Currently, nobody is forcing them to keep their earnings. They have full freedom to do whatever they’d like with their money—including giving it away to charity or coordinating with other similarly rich people to pool money together to tackle specific issues that might be too large for just one billionaire to handle.

“Inequality has reached a tipping point, and its cost to our economic, societal and ecological stability risk is severe—and growing every day,” reads the letter, which in no way substantiates how “inequality” has reached this “tipping point” or what exactly happens if inequality continues to grow. (Absolute wealth is infrequently mentioned in these types of calls to action. It’s always relative wealth, which allows signatories to ignore the vast standard-of-living gains that have been made over the last century.)

“If our elected officials refuse to address this concentration of money and power, the consequences will be dire,” warned Cox.

Speaking of concentrations of power: The impetus for the open letter is the World Economic Forum’s meeting in Davos, which is happening now and drawing leaders from across the globe—frequently arriving on their private jets. (“Private jet emissions quadrupled during Davos 2022,” reads a Guardian headline from last year, which put the total number of private jet flights at 1,040. Fascinating that those who are so concerned with climate change still feel comfortable flying private.)

The bright spot, amid the calls for coercive wealth redistribution, was undoubtedly the speech given by newly elected Argentine President Javier Milei, who is so full of fiery takes that he might just singe your eyebrows off.

“Today I am here to tell you that the Western world is in danger, and it’s in danger because those who are supposed to defend the values of the West are co-opted by a vision of the world that inexorably leads to socialism, and thereby to poverty,” said Milei. “Unfortunately, in recent decades, motivated by some well-meaning individuals willing to help others, and others motivated by the desire to belong to a privileged class, the main leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism.”

But Argentina knows firsthand, he warned, just how bad of an economic situation can arise from state intervention: “We are here to tell you that collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world, rather they are the root cause.”

“Today’s states don’t need to directly control the means of production to control every aspect of the life of individuals,” he continued. “With tools like printing money, debt, subsidies, control of the interest rate, price controls, and regulations to correct the so-called market failures, they can control the lives and fates of millions of individuals.”

And, later on: “They say that capitalism is evil because it’s individualistic and that collectivism is good because it’s altruistic, of course with the money of others.”

You couldn’t engineer a better response to the taxation-hungry billionaires mentioned above if you tried. People are always free to give their own money away, but it takes a special breed to favor coercion.

“Do not be intimidated either by the political caste nor by parasites who live off the state. Do not surrender yourself to a political class that only wants to perpetuate itself in power and keep their privileges,” Milei added, closing with a forceful defense of value creators: “You [entrepreneurs] are social benefactors, you are heroes, you are the creators of the most extraordinary period of prosperity we have ever seen. Let no one tell you that your ambition is immoral.”

After all, “the state is not the solution, the state is the problem itself.”

It’s about time someone went into the lion’s den and forcefully defended free market capitalism.

Oh, and Milei? He flew commercial, saving taxpayers an estimated $392,000.


Scenes from New York: Can someone please check in on the NYC media class? They’re obsessed with polyamory right now, and the rest of us are bored. (It’s good that people have more sexual freedom now than ever before. It’s bad that I have to hear about it.)


QUICK HITS

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