López Obrador proposes to end poverty with a 4% tax on the rich

AMLO proposes to tax great wealth with 4% as a recipe to end poverty.

Photo: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, today joined the debate on taxation of the great world fortunes and proposed a plan that consists of valuing great wealth with 4% as a recipe to end poverty.

In his long-awaited speech to the UN Security Council in New York, the president pointed out how it would be composed this “fund” that he called the World Plan for Fraternity and Welfare ”: a“ voluntary ”4% that would be paid by the thousand richest people in the world, another similar percentage would pay the thousand largest companies and the G-20 countries would finally allocate 0.2% of their GDP to the fund.

With that “a trillion dollars” would be raised, which would help lift the 750 million people who survive on less than 2 dollars a day out of poverty, as explained in this speech that he gave taking advantage of the fact that his country presides over the Security Council this month.

Although the details will be revealed in the next few days at the UN, López Obrador said that to be a beneficiary of this fund, “a card or electronic purse” will be required. It can be created by the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund.

And he anticipated that the first recipients of the funds would be the elderly and children with disabilities, and would also serve to finance scholarships and professional learning programs, as well as to distribute free vaccines and medicines.

To encourage contributions to the fund, López Obrador suggested to the UN that it deliver a kind of “solidarity certificates” with which to recognize “corporations or people who stand out for their humanitarian vocation.”

Although he did not go as far as affirming that his country has banished poverty, he did set his government as an example for having been able to “banish corruption and allocate all the money released to the well-being of the people,” and outlined some of the initiatives to favor, for example, youth employment and thus “avoid family disintegration and the loss of moral values.”

He also cited his country as an example of migration policy, explaining that in Chiapas two programs of planting fruit and timber trees are being carried out “with success”, employing 80,000 farmers and apprenticeships for 30,000 young people.

“If this were applied in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, it would achieve that 330,000 people remain in their countries, when today they emigrate in search of work,” he said.

The Mexican president had publicized this trip to the UN Security Council “which is the closest thing to a world government,” as he said today, as it was only his second trip abroad, and he had no other events on his agenda except for the which he had at the UN headquarters, including a private interview with the Secretary General, António Guterres.

There was no specific act with the very large Mexican community in the United States -which Mexico estimates at 40 million people-, but some groups of compatriots waited for him at the doors of the UN headquarters to greet and cheer him at the entrance and departure with flags of his country and slogans such as “López Obrador, it’s an honor.”

For all of them, he limited himself to recording a video from the headquarters of the Mexican Mission to the UN, and before them he showed his pride in the achievements of his government in support of the most disadvantaged, and took the opportunity to thank them for the good health of the remittances they send to their families in Mexico.

He said, specifically, that if last year remittances amounted to 40.6 billion dollars despite the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, this year everything indicates that the figure will rise to 50 billion.

He told them that migrants are those who “have built the great nations,” and for that reason he plans to speak with US President Joe Biden so that he “fulfills the commitment to regularize the situation of Mexicans who live and work honestly in the United States. ”, After recalling that it has agreed to regularize eleven million.

“And do not mistreat Mexican migrants or any migrant in the world,” he added.

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