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Commit to giving away any wealth you ever generate above the future equivalent of £10m / €15m / $15m.

This petition had 5 supporters


Wealth inequality is one of the greatest scandals in the world today.  Oxfam suggest that the combined wealth of the richest 1% people in the world will overtake that of the other 99% of people next year.  But most of us in the 99% would suggest that anyone from that richest 1% who wants to buy the phone in the picture for £1m has completely lost the plot.  

Governments find it difficult to raise taxes to deal with this issue believing the wealthy will move away resulting in lower competitiveness compared to other countries.  There is no will to act together on the matter.

The wealthy typically don't understand that having so much wealth is socially unacceptable and therefore don't believe they should be taxed progressively.  This isn't necessarily a criticism - if you have lots of money it's going to be much harder to see the consequences of inequality than if you don't.

Philanthropy is often suggested as an alternative to progressive taxation but even those seen as the most generous philanthropists, e.g. those signing the giving pledge, usually keep huge levels of wealth to themselves.

If we, the less well off want more equality we are going to have to take the lead in creating the fairer future that we want.

The suggestion in this petition is based on my own experience a few years ago talking through some financial objectives with my wife.  Although we both felt we would like to have more money, we both agreed that if we ever earned or though some other means came into the ownership of £5m then the first thing we would do is to give the extra money way.  We simply don't feel we need any more than that to be as happy as we can be.  We don't believe giving huge amounts of money to our children would ever be in their best interests.  And we find the idea of putting money we don't need into the bank or some expensive artwork that only a few people will ever see as rather repugnant.

I'm not suggesting we give away everything we have or stop striving for gaining more.  It's important that people are motivated to earn more.  However there has to be a limit where having more doesn't add further quality to our lives; reduces the efficiency of the economy and just makes our wealth compared to others a bit disgusting.  My suggestion is that this cut-off point falls somewhere below £10m in today's terms.

The difficulty is that if we ever gain this much wealth, by the time that we do, it will be more difficult for us to see the problems with this level of wealth in the same way that the very wealthy don't do this today.  To deal with this issue we need to commit our future selves to do the right thing now (this is my wife and I did).

So sign this petition to promise that if ever you generate over £10m wealth you will give the excess over this amount away.

The benefits of this will be that:

1.   If enough people support the petition then some signatories will eventually gain this much wealth and will therefore release the excess back into the economy.

2.   In addition, we will show the wealthy that we don't value what they have which may help them think again about their priorities, also releasing wealth back to where it can do more good.

 

And (assuming your're not already that wealthy) it doesn't cost you a thing - for now at least.  And if it ever costs you something in the future it's only going to cost you money you can do without and you know that you won't want to have.

 



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