Tax havens and the capital of the 1%

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The top 100 billionaires added $240 billion to their wealth in 2012- enough to end world poverty four times over.”[1]

As the chasm between the rich and poor widens, it is evident that a more creative approach needs to replace the trickle-down theory. There needs to be a comprehensive system that takes into account ‘all’ available sources of taxable revenue as well as pushing for a macroeconomic structure which revolves around an ethos of social investment, rather than the accumulation of individual capital. Namely it is time that WE ALL (as in everyone globally) do our part in closing the gap.

“If the top 100 were a separate state, their combined wealth would outstrip the Gross Domestic Product of all but eight countries. They would rank behind Italy, but ahead of India and Russia. Of course, being billionaire capitalists, the top 100 don’t actually produce anything. They own, and they reap the benefits of the labour of others.” [2]

Whether you’re at the minimum wage end of the spectrum flipping burgers at McDonald’s or whether you’re earning a healthy doctor’s salary towards the other end; the one thing you will have in common with everyone else is that we all pay tax. But it is clear that not EVERYONE is chipping in their 5c of social responsibility. “At least $21 trillion of unreported private financial wealth was owned by wealthy individuals via tax havens at the end of 2010.”[3]

I propose the abolition of private tax havens run by global financial giants located in 1st world cities. It is interesting that the OECD, the World Bank, IMF, and the G20, have carelessly given offshore tax havens so little concern; even though a trillion dollars could significantly close the global income gap. I’m not proposing universal communism nor am I advocating for mass Marxist redistribution. All I’m saying is that a new economic ideology needs to replace the failed equity system of capitalism; in which the separation between “the rising fortunes of the billionaires and the declining living standards of the masses is an essential feature.”[4]


[1] Oxfam, The cost of inequality: how wealth and income extremes hurt us all. Oxfam media briefing: January 2013

[3] Tax justice network, The price of offshore revisited: press release. July 2012

[4] http://www.globalresearch.ca/billionaires-gain-as-living-standards-fall/5318471

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