Having people believe that massive inequality is the fair outcome of a competitive process that is ultimately good for all is the ideological foundation of the current regime. The crisis has put an end to this fairy tale as free competition in financial markets created financial weapons of mass destruction instead of shared prosperity. For individual diversity to flourish and for democratic societies to function, economic inequality has to be limited and private capital’s controlling power over media, political parties, academic expertise and research must be broken. Freedom and democracy cannot survive where plutocratic power abuse is rampant. Closing tax havens, setting minimum tax floors, taxing wealth, inheritance and windfall profits from rising real estate prices or other asset bubbles are policy option fully in the range of the possible. Taxing the rich is necessary not only for funding inclusive societies, but also for defending democracy. The rich have an exclusive concept of freedom: they want the freedom to buy themselves all kinds of privileges. Real freedom means, as the most famous German social democratic intellectual, Karl Marx, put it, to change all circumstances were human beings are oppressed. Combating inequality is about development as freedom, it is about real democracy, it is about opening up the world for everybody and it is about help and solidarity for all in need.
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