The New Yorker “A Reporter at Large” inks “Embarrassment of Riches, The ultra-wealthy who argue that they should be paying higher taxes”. THE NEW YORKER, JANUARY 6, 2020 pp 32-41. By Sheelah Kolhatkar.
Grandaughter of Roy O. Disney, co-founder of Disney with his brother Walt Disney, Abigail Disney finds happiness “coming back to the idea that you keep investing in the future”…”I feel a responsibility. I don’t know how to do it any other way”. Joining Patriotic Millionaires (PM), “a group of wealthy Americans who are concerned about rising income inequality and who speak out in favor of policies traditionally considered antithetical to their economic interests”, she started speaking and doing videos advocating higher taxes on the wealthy. Interviewing Disney workers, Abigail grasped the struggle and economic stagnation hourly workers are experiencing today versus the meteoric rise of CEO pay. Bob Iger’s “annual compensation [at Disney] was $39.3 million”. This disparity began trending with and hasn’t significantly stopped since Reagan implementing Supply Side economics starting in 1981. Founder of PM, Erica Payne pitches the following “…people [that] work full time…should be paid enough to meet…basic needs, that regular people deserve as much political power as the wealthy; and that rich people and corporations should pay higher taxes”. Expanding PM to the West Coast, Kelsea-Marie Pym, executive director of the group, states “Our goal is to begin to challenge the wealthy to understand that inequality is at such a destabilizing level right now, by sitting on the sidelines, you’re effectively adding to the problem”. The fall of the Roman Empire and the French Revolution are mentioned as examples of “class-based rebellion” by Walter Scheidel who authored “The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century”. Scheidel states “…American elites should be more concerned about quality of life…enjoy your wealth in a civilized way”. The Patriotic Millionaires are leading the way for necessary economic change and are having some impact towards raising wages.
In the article, Abigail Disney discusses no longer wanting to fly the family's private jet, actually a 737 [Not Pictured], "I couldn't help thinking about the carbon footprint of it"...
Read the article THE NEW YORKER January 6, 2020 pp 32-41