When it comes to taxes Americans love not paying them, but now some millionaires want to change that. The Patriotic Millionaires call on the rich to pay their fair share, and they call for that attitude to permeate the globe. Developed nations tend to tax money made through labour at a higher rate than money made through investments, meaning rich people can get richer by not working. The chair of PM, Morris Pearl, recently wrote a good op-ed explaining why he thinks the rich should be taxed and has a new book out.
Most of the ultra–rich make the vast majority of their money through capital gains, not income. They don’t work in the way most Americans work, because they live off of their investments. And it’s a lucrative path, because the top capital gains rate is barely over half of that paid for ordinary income.
That means a billionaire whose investments earn him millions of dollars while he sits around at the beach and goes to fancy cocktail parties pays a lower tax rate on his earnings than almost any working American.
Investing is not inherently more valuable than labor, and it’s simply not true that investing in the stock market creates jobs.
Remember those super rich folk from the USA who decided to donate half their money? Well, that’s not the German way – and for good reason!
In an interview with Der Spiegel, a German millionaire explains why he thinks it’s best for the state to decide where money should be spent in a democracy.
SPIEGEL: Forty super wealthy Americans have just announced that they would donate half of their assets, at the very latest after their deaths. As a person who often likes to say that rich people should be asked to contribute more to society, what were your first thoughts?
Krämer: I find the US initiative highly problematic. You can write donations off in your taxes to a large degree in the USA. So the rich make a choice: Would I rather donate or pay taxes? The donors are taking the place of the state. That’s unacceptable.
SPIEGEL: But doesn’t the money that is donated serve the common good?
Krämer: It is all just a bad transfer of power from the state to billionaires. So it’s not the state that determines what is good for the people, but rather the rich want to decide. That’s a development that I find really bad. What legitimacy do these people have to decide where massive sums of money will flow?
SPIEGEL: It is their money at the end of the day.
Krämer: In this case, 40 superwealthy people want to decide what their money will be used for. That runs counter to the democratically legitimate state. In the end the billionaires are indulging in hobbies that might be in the common good, but are very personal.
Read the rest on Spiegel Online.
Millionaires are buying large tracts of land to protect the environment as oppose to destroying it.
Parque Tantauco, which Piñera created in 2005, is on one of South America’s largest islands, Chiloé, off the coast of Patagonia.
Piñera bought the land and immediately set about protecting the offshore habitat of blue whales and the inland virgin forests.
Pulling out a map of the park, Piñera explains his plan, tracing his finger over a trekking route that will be connected by rustic cabins.
‘We have been buying all the land around us. We started with 110,000 acres and now we have 150,000,’ he says. ‘I want my children and grandchildren to remember me for making one more million? No! So I now have many projects like this.’