Leading Economic Ministers Say World’s Billionaires Should Pay A Minimum Of 2% In Wealth Tax

(NewsSpace.com) – There are more than 2,700 billionaires in the world, with just over 800 of them living in the United States. Collectively, the list of the world’s most wealthy accounts for approximately $14.2 trillion of global wealth. At a recent G20 meeting, where finance ministers gather from the world’s most prosperous economies to discuss economic issues, some called for the rich to pay a so-called wealth tax to help combat poverty in the world.

Calls for 2% Wealth Tax

In February, at a meeting of the G20 finance ministers, Brazil, which chairs the group, proposed a tax on the ultra-wealthy. The measure was supported by several countries, including Germany, Spain, and South Africa. France has said it supports a wealth tax, but hasn’t co-signed to the latest proposal. The United States hasn’t signaled support, but it also hasn’t spoken out in opposition. President Joe Biden did talk about a billionaire tax in 2023, however.

If the world’s richest paid 2%, the finance ministers said that would help raise approximately $267 billion per year to help combat global issues such as poverty, inequality, and the climate crisis, and help economies rebound from the effects of the pandemic.

Their wealth hasn’t only been growing. According to Forbes, the total of the billionaires’ net worth increased by $1.1 trillion from 2022 to 2023 and then again by $2 trillion since last year. In essence, the rich are only getting richer.

Tax Havens Help the Wealthy

According to French economist Gabriel Zucman, “Billionaires have the lowest effective tax rate of any social group.” And it’s true. Traditionally, the wealthy pay far less in taxes than their lower-class counterparts. This is because they build shell companies to register their assets and thus, avoid paying income tax on it, and have been doing this for years. Some that run multinational companies even shop around to find the lowest rate, something that the G20 is also looking to put an end to. They introduced the idea of a 15% minimum corporation tax for those operating in multiple countries.

Global Poverty

Nearly 38 million people in the US, 11.5%, lived in poverty in 2022, per official Census data. Globally, that figure is 8.5% or 659 million people. In many other countries around the world, that rate is significantly higher. This is especially true in third-world countries, where food scarcity is also a major concern. The G20 ministers believe that if billionaires contribute 2% of their growing wealth each year, it can help mitigate the damages worldwide and improve the quality of life for millions, if not billions, of people.

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