The 1 Percent Stands for Tax Justice

Have you seen RG’s new tumblr account, We are the 1 percent, We stand with the 99 percent?  Or maybe this picture of RG’s co-director, Elspeth, that’s been making the rounds on the internet?

Lets rewind for a minute. Resource Generation’s Tax Organizing Team came together six months ago to figure out how we could use our voices and our actions to support economic justice by changing tax policy.  We were brought together through a partnership between Resource Generation and Wealth for the Common Good.  We committed to organizing together for at least a year, to push forward conversations and actions about taxes, particularly among young people with wealth.
We, the Tax Organizing Team, are six women in our twenties and thirties.  We live in Denver, New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and a small town in Maryland.  We work in community organizing, farming, publishing and education.  We have come together through monthly conference calls and one jam-packed weekend of getting to know each other, working hard and having fun.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Occupy Wall Street took off under the banner of “We are the 99 percent!” Zucotti Park has been occupied for a month now, and the movement has spread globally, with the We are the 99 Percent tumblr account collecting people’s stories. Last week we launched a parallel tumblr site, “We are the 1 percent, We stand with the 99 percent,” to share our stories and show our support of the 99 percent. This is an important chance for wealthy folks to join in, lend our voice and stand in solidarity in this galvanizing moment.
Will you make a sign, take a picture, and post it on the tumblr? Will you help us spread the word to folks in the 1% that you know?
As we seize the moment, we have also been having conversations about why we’re doing this and what we believe. Here is a statement we drafted to guide our work together:

We Are:
Young people with wealth or access to wealth.
Inheritors or high-income earners or people who expect to inherit money in our lifetimes.

We Believe:
The United States’ current economic system is unjust.

  • Poverty is unacceptable in a land of plenty.
  • Wealth disparity exacerbates unequal power relationships and destroys democracy.
  • Class privilege leads to isolation, insecurity and defensiveness.

A more equitable society is necessary.

  • Everyone deserves to have their basic needs met and to experience self-determination.
  • Wealth should be distributed to reflect the value of the contribution of all those who work.
  • Equitable distribution of wealth is the foundation of a system in which power is also equitably distributed.
  • Equitable distribution of wealth benefits us all.  It is necessary to create today to benefit the generations to come.

Tax policy is one important piece of creating a more equitable society.

  • The current tax structure increases poverty and wealth disparity.
  • Wealth accumulation is protected by tax policies like low capital gains taxes that privilege the rich.
  • Tax policy is a comprehensive approach to involuntary wealth redistribution.
  • Tax revenues are vital for funding the social services we expect our government to provide.

We have a unique role to play in the movement for economic justice.

  • We have more than we need, while the majority does not have enough.
  • Our privilege provides us the opportunity to affect institutional change.
  • Wealthy interests have served to create and maintain unfair policies, so it is even more important that we speak out against these policies from our experience.

That Is Why:
We speak out and organize to shape tax policy and shift the public narrative around wealth distribution and accumulation.
We demand change in the current tax structure so that wealth is taxed the same as work, and wealthy people pay more.
We fight for tax justice AND for ensuring that generated revenue is used to help all people meet their basic needs and exercise community control.
We seek to build cross-class alliances and add our voices to groups that are leading the struggle for economic justice.

Get Involved!

  1. Make a sign and post it on tumblr. Then take it to the street!
  2. Get your friends to make signs and post them too.  Then send the tumblr site around to your networks!
  3. Write a blog post or an op-ed that sends a message about redistributing wealth and creating a more equitable society.  We can help with drafting and placement.
  4. Talk to friends and family members about wealth and taxes.
  5. Support tax reform policies in Congress now
  6. If you’re under 35, join Resource Generation!
  7. Sign up to stay connected to our tax justice and We Stand With The 99 Percent organizing,  [email protected]

We are excited to be doing this work, especially in this moment.  We hope to engage with you in the coming months!
– The Resource Generation Tax Organizing Team
contact us at [email protected]