News Release

Why U.S. Would Be “Better Off Without Billionaires”

CNN Business yesterday published an op-ed by Chuck Collins that lays out why we should have fewer billionaires.

CHUCK COLLINS, chuckcollins7 at mac.com, @Chuck99to1; or Bob Keener, bobknr at gmail.com
Collins is senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and author and co-author of many books and reports, including with Bill Gates Sr., Wealth and Our Commonwealth.

He said today: “The problem isn’t really individuals making money. The problem is having an entire system that grows the wealth of billionaires at the expense of everything else we care about — including our democracy.

“Billionaire charity may be directed toward noble endeavors, but it is not a substitute for billionaires paying their fair share of taxes that provide essential services like health care, schools or infrastructure.

“Living under an oligarchic system, we should develop a healthy skepticism of the actions of billionaires, whether they are running for office, bankrolling other candidates or giving billions to charity. If we want to make the bold investments we need to expand the middle class, lift up workers and protect the environment, we’ll first need to protect our democracy from extreme billionaire influence.

“At the very least, that means campaign finance reform, targeted taxes on the very wealthiest Americans and reforming philanthropy. And ultimately, it means having fewer billionaires.”