Why not just give? We do. But we know that this alone is not enough. The UN has calculated the additional investment needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as $2-3 trillion. Philanthropy, no matter how generous and smart, cannot fill this gap: it raises not nearly enough (the OECD calculated that private philanthropy for development at just $24 billion), and it lacks the coordination and economies of scale needed. In contrast, just a one percent wealth tax on millionaires would raise $1.7 trillion, while pooled financing mechanisms such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, and the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunizations, have already demonstrated how to manage resources with professionalism and oversight. The thrill of seeing your nameplate on one school or a hundred schools is pretty empty, in the end, compared to the thrill that everyone in the world will feel when every child in the world goes to a good school.
Some politicians that a wealth tax cannot be done. This is just not true. Look at Norway, for example which has long had a wealth tax, or at Argentina and Bolivia which have just passed new wealth taxes. Experts like Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkley, have set out in granular detail how wealth taxes can be instituted and administered. Other politicians say that a wealth tax would be unfair on millionaires, make it impossible for millionaires to run businesses, or lead millionaires to run away. But those are scare stories. We know. And that is why we feel obliged to add our voice to say this: a wealth tax would absolutely be fair, would not harm business operations, and would not lead to any exodus. In fact, a wealth tax, by helping to tackle the gravest social crises, would strengthen stability, broaden prosperity, and benefit everyone.