Inequality is one of the big issues of our time, and it will not be reversed by philanthropy. That was one frank assessment by a Dutch historian who recently took part in a Davos panel. Yes, at the international conference for the wealthy elite convened in Switzerland annually. Rutger Bregman called out the bankers, politicians and tech billionaires for being all talk and only serving themselves. His remarks became a social media sensation. Bregman's recent book is Utopia for Realists and it appears to touch a nerve with some - perhaps a Utopia for others.
We have a system that rewards the wealthy with praise and status if the 'give back'. But this is a sham, or even a scam. No matter what wonderful things a few very wealthy people may support, the system is simply designed to make them all richer. Another book, Winners Take All, by Anand Giridharadas, has received great reviews because the book clearly describes the corrupt model; the shortcomings of celebrity billionaires, their foundations, and their vanity.
The CCPA has outlined how the game is being played by Canada's billionaires,
It will take more than a few outspoken voices to re-balance the tax burdens in Canada and elsewhere. This is an issue with many faces. Recent changes to property taxes in BC are step in the right direction. Higher marginal income taxes for the rich and fewer tax exemptions are needed. We need to support measures that will maker our tax system fairer. And we have to challenge the myth that the charity of the super-rich is some kind of answer.