Linda McQuaig argues that it's time to establish a wealth tax in Canada. That's what Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are proposing south of the border:
Prominent U.S. Democratic presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are campaigning on taxing the super-rich, with Warren calling for a two per cent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, rising to three per cent on billionaires.
Jagmeet Sing is proposing a similar tax on wealthy Canadians. And economist Thomas Picketty has assembled the data which proves it's a good idea:
The brilliant French economist Thomas Piketty answered that question [of whether or not a wealth tax was a good idea] at length in his celebrated international best-seller, Capital in the 21st Century, where he made the case for wealth taxes.
Without them, he argued with extensive data, wealth will become ever more concentrated, allowing the mega-rich to swallow up an ever-larger share of the world's resources.
Given that 26 individuals now have as much wealth as the bottom half of humanity (3.8 billion people), one wonders at what point conservative commentators might consider this a problem.
However, our conservative media won't touch that issue, even though there are many arguments in favour of such a tax:
Let's not forget that the super-rich typically made their fortunes by selling products built by employees we all paid to educate, and shipping those products on roads we all paid to build.
A wealth tax would redirect a tiny fraction of those fortunes back to the community to help ordinary Canadians. I'd call that a good solution to the problem of millions of Canadians working really hard but still struggling to get by.
A wealth tax would also help curb the enormous political power of the super-rich. Fossil fuel billionaires, for instance, have effectively managed to block global efforts against climate change.
And here's the kicker: The majority of Canadians are in favour of a wealth tax:
A new Abacus poll shows that 67 per cent of Canadians support (or somewhat support) a wealth tax, along the lines proposed by Warren, and that even a majority of Conservative voters support it. That's probably about the same percentage of Canadians who support (or somewhat support) Mother's Day.
Now is the time -- in the upcoming federal election -- to discuss the idea.