Nobel Prize Winner Stiglitz wants 70% tax on top incomes

Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz is concerned about increasing social inequality in the world. The gap between rich and poor is widening. To reverse the trend, he calls for the super-rich to pay a higher income tax and a wealth levy. He says introducing a special global tax rate of 70 percent for top earners “would clearly make sense.”
“People at the top might then work a little less if you tax them more. But on the other hand, our society benefits from a more egalitarian society with greater cohesion,” the former World Bank chief economist explained in Oxfam’s “Equals” podcast, summarized by the British newspaper The Guardian.
Current top tax rates are much lower than what Stiglitz has in mind. A few examples

In the U.S., the top tax rate is 37 percent for incomes above $539,901.
The top tax rate in the U.K. is 45 percent on annual incomes above 150,000 pounds.
In Austria, the rate is 55 percent, but only for annual incomes above one million euros.
In Germany, the top tax rate is paid from an annual income of around 278,000 euros—it is 45 percent.

Only four European Countries have a wealth tax: Spain, Norway, Switzerland, and Belgium.
Joseph Stiglitz: Getting rich is a question of chance—not performance
Stiglitz explained in the podcast that such a new, higher top tax would lead to more redistribution—but at the same time one must also tax wealth fairly. Because that way, the richest people in the world would make a fair contribution, whose wealth has been accumulated over generations. According to Stiglitz, a global wealth tax would have an even greater impact in combating social inequality.
“We should tax wealth more heavily, because a lot of the wealth is now inherited. For example, the young Walmart’s inherited their wealth“, Stiglitz cited as an example.
“One of my friends describes it as winning the sperm lottery. You got the ‘right’ parents. I think we have to realize that most billionaires got a lot of their wealth just by luck.“
The Nobel Prize winner considers U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposals for a 2 percent tax on wealth of more than $50 million and a 3 percent tax on wealth of more than $1 billion “very reasonable.” He believes that would “really do a lot to raise revenue that could be used to alleviate some problems our country faces.“
The crisis has made rich even richer
According to Stiglitz, the Corona pandemic has exacerbated social inequality around the world to an “astonishing” degree and “both exposed and exacerbated global inequalities.“
“At a time when so many people’s lives have been so difficult, when they have lost their jobs, when food prices have risen and oil prices have risen, it is shocking how many people and rich companies have made off like bandits,” Stiglitz criticized.
Oxfam study: For the first time in 25 years, extreme wealth and extreme poverty are growing simultaneously
A recent Oxfam study showed that nearly two-thirds of the wealth accumulated since the pandemic began has gone to the richest 1 percent. The charity found that the best-off will have amassed $26 billion in new assets by the end of 2021. That’s 63 percent of all new wealth, with the rest going to the remaining 99 percent of people.
As a result, for the first time in 25 years, the rise in extreme wealth has been accompanied by an increase in extreme poverty. 
The charity said that a tax of up to 5 percent on multimillionaires and billionaires could raise $1.7 trillion a year for the world. That, in turn, would be enough to lift 2 billion people out of poverty and end world hunger.
“While millions of people don’t know how to pay for food and energy, the crises of our time are bringing gigantic increases in wealth for billionaires and billionaires’ wives,” said Oxfam spokesman Manuel Schmitt.
200 super-rich call for global wealth taxes
More than 200 members of the super-rich elite have written to governments around the world in the run-up to the World Economic Forum in Davos calling on them to “tax us, the super-rich, now” to tackle the crisis of inequality. “Patriotic Millionaires”, “Tax me Now” and “Millionaires for Humanity” were behind the campaign.
Among the signatories are Disney heirs Abigail and Tim Disney and “Hulk” actor Mark Ruffalo. Marlene Engelhorn from Austria also participated in the protest—she delivered the letter on site.

Members Phil White and Marlene Engelhorn protest the World Economic Forum in Davos.
It’s time to #TaxTheRich. pic.twitter.com/QwV7aWMPEP
— Patriotic Millionaires (@PatrioticMills) January 17, 2023

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Remote Inequality: The effects of working from home on the work-life balance of women

Remote work has established itself throughout the past two years. The change to labour suddenly taking place in the private sphere of our own homes has led to drastic changes and raised a debate about what exactly can be called ´real´ work. 
During 2020 around 40% of workers in the European Union switched to working from home. This marked a rise of 35% compared to 2019 where only 5,4% of EU-employees worked remotely—the majority of them being women. 
But even before facing the challenges of a global pandemic, working from home has been the only practicable way to combine both their paid and unpaid work. Unpaid work includes tasks like childcare and household duties which, even in 2022, are still predominantly carried out by women.
Carework such as childcare is still mostly carried out by women
In 2020 12.3% of EU-employees started to work remotely on a regular basis with 41% of EU-women working from home—and this is not a coincidence. A report by the European Foundation for the improvement of working and living conditions issued in late 2020 has found that the work-life balance of women has been affected to a much greater extent by the overall effects of the pandemic than those of men. Women, for example, were found to carry a much heavier burden of care responsibilities. Simultaneously, young women were more likely to lose their jobs compared to their male coworkers. This depicts an utterly different picture of the way employees adapted to the changes work life has undergone within the past two years. 
Carework is work 
The divide between working in the private and the public sphere has manifested itself for centuries. Even though work itself has undergone some drastic changes with ongoing digitalization and globalization, the changes remain limited. The perception of work in the private sphere, often referred to as carework, versus work taking place in the public sector has differed enormously.
Carework is rarely considered real work in our society
Carework such as childcare, cleaning and cooking duties have historically been unequally distributed in households. The majority of the work is still taken care of by women. This is clearly linked to gender stereotypes and gender based discrimination in social (and public) institutions. Even after centuries of fighting for women’s rights and emancipation, men are perceived as the main breadwinners in most families.
On the challenges of Teleworkers
With the surge of remote work during the crisis, many challenges of working from home have been highlighted. Overall, it can be stated that remote workers are less protected in their own homes. This is especially noteworthy when talking about women that live with abusive partners and/or under poor living conditions.
“In addition to being less protected in the ‘private’ space, home-based teleworkers are at risk of being sidelined at their workplace, with reduced professional visibility and career prospects and less access to information and personal and professional support.” Kalina Arabajieva and Paula Franklin, Researchers at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)
Additionally, most of them experience reduced professional visibility, which stems from them not being physically present at meetings etc. This then leads to their isolation from the in-office team.
41% of EU-women worked from home in 2020
The lack of physical presence also leads to reduced interpersonal exchange with the team. This can result in a lack of information and support—both personally and professionally—such as unionizing. That alone can lead to severe work-life conflicts disproportionately affecting women.
Protecting the health of remote workers
Telework is filled with psychosocial risks affecting the health of workers. Therefore, preventive measures must be undertaken to ensure the safety of those working from home. An overall review of the working conditions is required to ensure that the shift from office to home based or hybrid work can be adapted without workers losing the rights that the working class has fought for over the past centuries. Such changes have to be established within both the legal and the social landscape. But therefore, the binary divide between paid and unpaid work has to be questioned.
Establishing homeoffice as a protected working sphere 
Even with all the challenges workers face when carrying out telework, many of them still want to work from home or at least have the opportunity to do so. However, the divide between work carried out from home versus such carried out in the public sphere leads to remote work from home being perceived as less valuable or not real work. 
Telework is filled with psychosocial risks affecting the health of workers
To support workers in their ability to divide their private from professional/work life, it is imperative to end the societal perception of remote work and unpaid domestic labor. Only this way can a better work-life balance for those with caring responsibilities be established. Both the rights and working conditions of teleworkers need to be protected—particularly of those with caring responsibilities.  Läs mer…