The rich keep getting richer because we think they work for it. The thing is, they don’t work for their wealth that separates the wealthy from everyone else. What allows the rich to keep increasing their wealth is capital gains instead of money earned though labour. Most of us have to work to ensure we can pay rent and buy food; however, people born into wealth don’t need to work nearly as much since they can earn money from money. If we want a more equitable society where everyone needs to work to get wealthy then we need to tell people that the rich don’t need to work.
In this paper, Oscar Barrera-Rodriguez and Emmanuel Chávez examine the impact of providing information on the source of income of the top 1% earners on attitudes towards this group. Based on a randomized online survey of 2000 French respondents, they find that:
Simply presenting information about the amount of money the rich make is insufficient to change attitudes toward top earners.
Information about other aspects of income at the top, especially the sources of income (capital versus labor), does produce a shift.
Individuals most responsive to the treatments vote for left-wing candidates and have egalitarian notions of justice.
Luxury taxes can save us from climate collapse and we should start raising taxes now. You, the reader, will not have your taxes increased and nor are you likely to be impacted by a luxury tax; however, the benefits you will gain from a luxury tax are immense.
We already know that lifestyles of the rich and famous kill the environment faster than average lifestyles. It’s hard to compare the carbon footprint of the wealthy to people living in developing economies since the difference is so vast.
Researchers have concluded that the most ethical way to get to a carbon neutral economy is to tax the people what are over consuming.
Not only was the luxury tax “fairer” based on household income—affecting low-income households less and high-income households more—it also was slightly better at reducing yearly household emissions in the very short-term. The researchers note that this might be because it is more feasible to forgo luxury purchases than an essential purchase if the price increases.
While the luxury tax proved fairer in all countries studied, the researchers found that, in low-income countries, a uniform tax could also be fair. In South Africa, for example, low-income households already spend much less on fuel or heating than high-income households. Thus, a uniform carbon tax is already targeting high-income groups by design. In contrast, the luxury carbon tax is most beneficial in terms of fairness when applied to high-income countries. This tax can better account for flexible, nonessential purchases in countries like the United States, where it is difficult to avoid carbon-emitting activities like driving a car in a low-income lifestyle.
A wealth tax could be a way to not only address inequality, it’s also a way to reduce the damage done to the planet by greedy billionaires. Oxfam looked into the investments that the ultra rich hold and found that their investments alone do more damage to the planet than the entire nation of France. By introducing a wealth tax it would force the ultra wealthy to streamline their holdings and force them to think better about where they put their money. Let’s tax their obscene wealth and ban their private jets!
Researchers made the calculations by starting with a list of the 220 richest people in the world, according to the Bloomberg billionaire list from August 2022. They worked with a data provider to identify what percentage of each company was held by the billionaires andthe scope 1 and 2 emissionsof these corporations. The researchers used analysis by Bloomberg for detailed breakdowns of the sources of billionaire wealth to calculate what percentage of each company was owned by the billionaires. They excluded billionaires with less than a 10% share in a business. The research was limited because it was reliant on data that companies publish themselves, which is often not externally verified.
“Each of these billionaires would each have to circumnavigate the world almost 16m times in a private jet to create the same emissions,” the report said – adding that almost four million people would have to go vegan to offset the emissions of each of the billionaires.
Our global carbon footprint has risen dramatically since 1990, but only a few people are to blame for the worst of it. The wealthy have been increasing their carbon output without regard for anybody on the planet (or future generations). Reducing their carbon output is simple and easy, many ideas have been put on this very site. As always, we need politicians brave enough to stand up for the majority of people.
He finds that per-capita emissions of the top 1% of emitters in the world grew by 26% over 1990-2019. The top 0.01% saw an even larger rise of 80%. Meanwhile, the bottom half of emitters saw a more modest 16% increase in per-capita emissions. And the “lower- and middle-income groups of the rich countries” saw a drop in per capita emissions of 5-15%.
The family who owned the Patagonia clothing company recently gave the company to a new trust which will take all the profits and dedicate it to fighting climate change. Meaning that the $3 billion company will now spend the $100 million in profits it generates annually on good things. The billionaire family hopes that their action will inspire other insanely wealthy people to do the same with their companies.
“Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people,” Mr. Chouinard, 83, said in an exclusive interview. “We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.”
Patagonia will continue to operate as a private, for-profit corporation based in Ventura, Calif., selling more than $1 billion worth of jackets, hats and ski pants each year. But the Chouinards, who controlled Patagonia until last month, no longer own the company.