America's super-rich write to Democratic presidential hopefuls, demanding a wealth tax

Oh yes, good point, I don’t think GEORGE F%&KING SOROS spends any of his own money on political action.


The letter has ten signatories and they don’t all have the same record as Soros.

By all means though continue to feel placated by the empty gestures of the wealthy. It’s win-win: they get a lift to their images and you get to deceive yourself with false hope.

Be careful about viewing the very wealthy as your allies just because they write a letter that makes you feel happy or give away some little fraction of their massive wealth to a cause you like. They aren’t your allies, so don’t become their stooge. Don’t be satisfied with empty gestures and crumbs – demand actual change. Some being better than others doesn’t make any of them good or their massive fortunes justifiable.

This is the equivalent of North Korea writing a letter to the UN asking it to force all nations to dispose of their nuclear weapons… and meanwhile it keeps building and testing its own.


As I see it simply putting the letter out there has value, so it’s hardly an empty gesture (in fact having those folks, the folks it applies to, sign onto the idea promotes it better than if a million Americans it wouldn’t apply to signed the same letter.) Sure, I would love it if all those signatories had similar records as Soros, but at the same time I also want money out of politics so do I welcome my own hypocrisy? (And how much do you really know about all they do in private with their money?)

False hope? This is the age of Trump, I don’t really have any hope left, but I’m not about to shit on a good idea just out of spite.


What a sad idea, that in a democracy the will of ten wealthy people should matter more than the will of a million of the governed.

The idea is great – and not new! – but I’m not giving these assholes a round of applause just for writing a letter about it. They’re the problem, not the solution.

White people who wrote a letter are not the heroes of Civil RIghts, straight cis people who wrote a letter are not the heroes of LGBTQ rights, and these ten wealthy people who wrote a letter are not the heroes of narrowing the wealth gap.

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In the USA it’s a sport [inequality], I never ran into that while trekking the globe.

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How in the heck does one sign a letter anonymously?


There shouldn’t even be a “capital gains” tax. I don’t care if someone worked all day to make money, or sat around while their money made the money. It’s all income.


Definitely not empty. A letter like this can be a strong signal to others. Very often in history, just before a problematic policy is truly rescinded after years of hard work by real activists, a significant number of people who the policy benefited indirectly or directly suddenly start saying in public something to the effect of “hey, maybe this policy isn’t so sustainable or good for us after all.”

When those “normal, average, mainstream” (in the U.S. usually middle-class, usually white, usually male) citizens get on board with those who up to that point were considered “fringe” activists, against what was thought to be their own interests, that can spell the end of the rotten policy. If an establishment figure or elected official then comes on board or switches position, change truly becomes possible. Think of how things played out in the McCarthy era or the Civil Rights movement or the anti-Vietnam war movement or same-sex marriage.

(by the way, this doesn’t discount the efforts of the real and often heroic activists who usually work years or decades in the political wilderness before everyone else wakes up – it only highlights their success)

In this case, a very small group of Americans would be affected by this change in tax policy. A letter like this, with some very recognisable names from that small group, is one of those signalling mechanisms. If some billionaires are starting to agree with the Occupy activists or Piketty about remedies for inequality in the U.S., it becomes easier for a lot of Americans who don’t have a net worth of $50-million+ to agree as well.

The forces of reaction instinctively know this kind of signal spells the beginning of the end and they respond with the usual mix of vilification, logical fallacies, lies and BS. Since we’re talking here about the end of the neoliberal consensus, and since a lot of people have spent years being gulled into swallowing and parroting Libertarian garbage, the reaction is going to be especially mendacious and vicious.


We already KNOW that many millions of Americans of are in favor of the idea, and Fox News calls that “class war”-- having a bunch of billionaires come out in favor of it counters the class war narrative.

Writing and signing this letter hurts the debate not one iota.

You complain about them writing the letter, you complain about them not spending enough money on politics, and now you’re just complaining about them in general. They didn’t have to write the letter, whatever good publicity they get is countered by them now being targets of the conservative echo-chamber and troll-o-sphere (something George Soros is very familiar with.)

Do we really have the luxury of dismissing allies who are too wealthy for our proletarian tastes?


Libertarians shedding crocodile tears for “the common man” and allying themselves with right-wing populists do, although it isn’t so much luxury as it is necessity when actual billionaires (and not just the “wrong types”) are saying that they should be taxed more.

It was easier for them when they could focus on Soros and play to the alt-right’s anti-Semitism. It’s harder when his co-signers include the children of people like Roy Disney, Warren Buffett, and Charlie Munger.

ETA: another billionaire speaks up. If you live in Southern California you’re likely familiar with the name Eli Broad:


I don’t know what proportion mean it in a sincere sort of way; but it wouldn’t surprise me if a specific sort of support is actually quite common:

If you suspect that you won’t be able to keep the lid on displeasure with something, you have reason to be concerned about at least the possibility of having change forced on you. Under those conditions, it can be quite rational to get ahead of the problem by ‘voluntarily’ embracing the cause before it gets ahead of you and so enjoying the opportunity to help write the new rules such that they rest lightly upon you from the position of ‘ally’ rather than fighting a rearguard action against rules written by someone else or being forced to try to subvert the process once it is undertaken by people who don’t like you.

I’d assume that liberal-leaning(at least to the degree of 'don’t really want to live in Gilead under a state of eternal war and belicose nationalism) rich are particularly sensitive to this because much of the expertise in stalling or outright scuttling inconvenient regulation is on the side of their political opponents(hardly all, as the financial and tech sectors have repeatedly demonstrated quite handily); but a lot of the really crack denialist think tanks and such.

Even if you have not a trace of broader social concern a modest little tax whose rules you’ll be to help draft could easily be a cost-effective way of making things go away for a while.


This. The more we look to the wealthy as the catalysts for this imminent change, the more influence they’ll have over the shape of that change. Accept no favors from them and owe them none. If they’re truly passionate about narrowing the wealth gap then they’re free to abdicate their undeserved fortunes any time and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of us.

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It is. The capital gains tax rate is currently 0, 15% or 20% depending on income with an additional 3.8% net investment tax for the highest incomes. Or are you just saying that the tax rates should be higher like 25% and 37%? I don’t disagree.

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“[Income inequality] is the game changer that we’re living in right now,”

“We’re creating a superclass so far above the vast majority of people that they don’t share the same planet anymore.”



If these people were sincere, they would voluntarily pay more tax money to the Feds each year. Do they?? If sincere, they would all pledge to send the Feds, an extra chunk of their wealth now. Did they??
My guess is, they hire high priced accountants to handle their taxes and take every legal deduction they can, in order to AVOID paying more taxes than they have to.
Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words.

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That’s why everyone voluntarily pays taxes.

And only for the things that directly benefit themselves.


You literally have no clue how modern society works, do you?


Not only was this tiresome and fallacious response already anticipated earlier in the topic, but someone else already rolled it out despite that. Is that really all you folks have?

Since you’re new here, I’d suggest as a helpful tip that if you’re coming into a topic late that you read at least the first 10-15 comments before chiming in with your own “mind-blowing” insights. It’ll save you some keystrokes.


One of his heroes has an answer for that!

So there! Try again, bleeding heart lib!


Maggie was wrong. She didn’t get elected to be the PM of individuals, but of a society.