The world is home to around 75,000 ultra-rich families, who are fortunate and crafty enough to belong to the 1 percent of the wealthiest population.
They are an enigmatic bunch who made spectacular fortune in various sectors such as the real estate and information technology.
Eighteen billionaires representing their elite families from the USA, including Hungarian-American investor George Soros, have co-signed an open letter, calling for more taxes on the richest Americans.
“America has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more,” the letter posted on Monday reads.
Bearing signatures of Walt Disney’s descendant Abigail Disney, and Facebook Inc co-founder Chris Hughes, the letter points out that a wealth tax could help address the climate crisis, boost economy, improve health outcomes, fairly create opportunity, and strengthen democratic freedom.
“Instituting a wealth tax is in the interest of our republic,” the open letter reads, indicating the importance of immediately addressing inequality and income gap issues in the USA.
Many among these wealthy Americans are involved with progressive initiatives tackling serious issues such as climate change and the ever widening wealth gap.
Ensuring that they are non-partisan and not endorsing any US presidential candidate, the group says in the letter: “We are writing to call on all candidates for president, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, to support a moderate wealth tax on the fortunes of the richest one-tenth of the richest 1 percent of Americans – on us.
“The next dollar of new tax revenue should come from the most financially fortunate, not from middle-income and lower-income Americans.”
Liesel Pritzker Simmons, the 35-year-old heir to the wealthy Pritzker family, supported the initiative by signing the letter, saying: “We are part of the problem, so tax us.”
Supporting the initiative, billionaire Warren Buffett recently stated that he pays taxes far less than his secretary.
The group, despite claiming to be non-partisan, previously praised a proposal by Democratic Senator and hopeful presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren that calls for taxing those with more than $50m, a measure which would affect the 75,000 wealthiest families.
Among 40 countries, the US is presently ranked sixth in terms of wealth concentration, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In 1999, a one-off wealth tax on the rich was proposed by Donald Trump, which would have cut the US’ national debt. Trump won the US presidential election, but this proposition was not featured in his electoral policy.