Demonstrations by young “one percenters” in almost ten cities will include lessons in how to fairly cut pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies.
To celebrate tax day, April 15-17 young members of “the one percent” plan to stage pie-cutting demonstrations to talk about wealth inequality and taxes while serving up pies in cities around the country. Demonstrations will occur at farmers markets, parks, and rallies in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and other cities with wealth distribution “pie charts” fashioned out of real pies. They will include lessons in how to cut a pie, with delicious pie handouts for participants and audience members.
“Everyone knows how to cut a pie fairly,” says Sophie Hagen, one of the organizers based in New York. “But right now the one percent owns over 35 percent of the wealth. The American pie is not getting divided fairly.”
“At a time when so many are struggling, the one percent has more than enough, and our tax policies are making inequality worse,” adds Elspeth Gilmore, a national organizer and member of “the 1 percent.” “My income, which comes largely from capital gains and investments is taxed at 15 percent, while my friends whose income comes primarily from wages can pay as much as 35 percent. They may own some stock but the reality is, the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans own 80 percent of stock market wealth.”
Next week, Congress will debate the Buffett Rule, which would create a minimum tax rate for millionaires. Young members of the one percent will encourage other wealthy people to support this policy and speak out for tax fairness with slices of pumpkin, pecan, and apple pie.
In several cities, the group is targeting public parks to highlight the need for strong public investments. In New York, the group is tabling in Prospect Park and in Chicago organizers will show up during rush hour at Millenium Park. In Washington, DC, members of the 1 percenters will join a rally at Grover Norquist’s office to call for tax justice. Actions are also taking place in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
“Fair taxation is essential for a healthy society,” says Farhad Ebrahimi. “We all want things like good schools, transportation infrastructure, compelling public spaces, and so on. In order to have these things, we need to invest in our communities — not just as individuals or institutions, but as a society at large. Congress should tax wealth like work and increase millionaire tax rates so that people like me are asked to do our fair share.”
Organizers are members of Resource Generation (www.resourcegeneration.org), which organizes young people with wealth to leverage resources and privilege for social change, and Wealth for the Common Good (www.wealthforcommongood.org), a network of wealthy individuals and business leaders speaking out for fair taxation. These same groups launched the tumblr blog, “We are the 1 Percent. We Stand With the 99 Percent.” in October to show support for the Occupy Movement.
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Wealth for the Common Good – http://wealthforcommongood.org/