POLL: Over two-thirds of Canadians back a wealth tax

Rising inequality is often ignored by neoliberal politicians focusing on profit and growth while social concerns are often not on the political radar.

Support is steady across demographic, regional and even party lines

Image result for ricochet POLL: Over two-thirds of Canadians back a wealth tax

A new poll conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of advocacy group North 99, and provided exclusively to Ricochet Media, shows that the newfound appetite for a wealth tax in the United States has spread north of the border.

A wealth tax, championed by U.S. politicians like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, would levy an additional tax on the assets of the super rich. Unlike policies such as a new top marginal tax rate that have also been floated by Ocasio-Cortez and others, a wealth tax would apply not only to income but to all assets.

67 per cent of all Canadians support or somewhat support a wealth tax

The poll of 2,000 Canadians was weighted to reflect census data and tested the proposal of a two per cent wealth tax on individuals with assets over $50 million, payable annually.

It found a staggering 67 per cent of all Canadians support or somewhat support the proposal. Only 14 per cent were opposed or somewhat opposed, while 17 per cent were unsure or felt they didn’t have enough information to respond.

“There is a real appetite, a real demand among voters across the political spectrum for bold, progressive policies”

What we see here,” explained Taylor Scollon, co-director of North 99, “is that policies that politicians are not necessarily talking about, that we don’t hear a lot about, to address rising inequality and lack of opportunity for workers, for the middle class, are quite popular. But they are just not present in the discourse right now.

These ideas are being talked about a lot more in the U.S., Elizabeth Warren has put out a similar proposal, but these are policies that Canadians support too.” MORE

Outrageous Fortune: Documenting Canada’s Wealth Gap

Bill Gates Gets Why People Are Doubting Billionaires—And He Has A Defense (Even For Mark Zuckerberg)

Simon Dawson / Bloomberg

“I think it’s fascinating that for the first time in my life people are saying, ‘Okay, should you have billionaires?’ ‘Should you have a wealth tax?’ I think it’s a fine discussion.”

It’s a discussion that took place yesterday just a block from Trump Tower, home of America’s first-ever billionaire president. “My opinion is that there should be an estate tax and maybe even higher than we have today. Among The Forbes 400, I don’t think we’d get a majority—Warren [Buffett] and I are sort of against interest on that,” says Gates. “So I think there’s plenty of debate about how capital should be taxed, how estates should be taxed.”

“Philanthropy is there because the government is not very innovative, doesn’t try risky things and particularly people with a private-sector background—in terms of measurement, picking great teams of people to try out new approaches,” says Gates. “Philanthropy does that.”

But as for the kind of disincentivizing economics lamented by the Beatles in “Taxman” and increasingly championed by America’s far left, Gates remains clear: “The idea that there shouldn’t be billionaires—I’m afraid if you really implemented something like that, that the amount you would gain would be much less than the amount you would lose.”  MORE