Omar Ocampo joins the radio show Bringing Light into Darkness (BLID) to discuss IPS’s report, “Extreme Wealth: The Growing Number of People With Extreme Wealth and What an Annual Wealth Tax Could Raise,” which he co-authored with Chuck Collins.

The show focuses on world wealth inequality, trade agreements that promote it, and ways to reverse the destructive direction gross wealth inequality is taking the world. Omar and the host, Pedro Gatos, review the corporate advantages that the Transpacific Partnership Trade (TPP) Agreement sought to fast track and specifically how it attempted to give corporations profiteering leverage over the will of governments in the countries they operate in.

Omar outlines a solution-oriented progressive tax plan that the “Extreme Wealth” report details. He argues that a tax on the ultra-rich would not impact their spending patterns or retirement. Instead, it would be just a slight constraint on their rates of accumulation of wealth. Such a progressive tax rate would raise $580 billion annually in the US. As of 2022 wealth data they evaluated, those at $5 million or more would be taxed at 2%, those at $50 million or more would be taxed at 3%, and those in billionaire class would be taxed at 5%. The result would be not only an annual generation of $580 billion in the US alone, but worldwide it would generate an annual amount of $1.7 trillion that could be used to alleviate worldwide poverty and extreme poverty rates and set in motion a system of economic democracy.

Omar shares that “historically speaking, there is actually a direct correlation between lower tax rates and higher concentrations of wealth which then (further) exasperates wealth inequality”, and that in the U.S. some “1.5 million people own $5 million or more and when you add up all that wealth it equals some $28 trillion”. From 2012 – 2022, the richest 1% have been the beneficiaries of a wealth increase that has been some 19 times greater than the bottom 50%.

Check out the full interview in the clips below:

Part 1

Part 2

Omar Ocampo is a inequality researcher at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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