Real solutions: Trillion Dollar Bill
Spotlight on solutions
Did you know that the 10 richest people in the world have over $1 trillion between them? That’s enough wealth to end poverty, with billions left over. And when we say richest, we’re not talking about millionaires. We mean the handful of super-wealthy billionaires with so much money, they couldn’t spend it all, even if they tried.
If these 10 people were taxed fairly, we could end poverty, with plenty of spare change left over to buy … literally anything!
As absurd as it sounds, it is very much a reality. So in March 2023, we launched the Trillion Dollar Bill campaign, targeting people under the age of 35 to raise awareness about economic inequality.
Visualising this ludicrous amount of money is just about impossible, so the Trillion Dollar Bill helped break it down with a seemingly endless online receipt, containing $1 trillion worth of items — all the crazy things that you’d have to buy to spend the wealth that 1% of the population have at their disposal, as well as items that could change the lives of communities around the world.
The futile nature of the items — including a diamond studded baby pacifier (worth $17,000), a kilogram of Beluga caviar (worth $6,700), Mark Zuckerberg’s chunk of Hawaii (worth $100,000,000) to name a few — really hammered home the message.
While the ridiculously wealthy can afford to buy so many “pointless” things, almost 700 million people are forced to survive on less than $2 a day, often without food or safe drinking water. This situation is not accidental, but the result of deliberate laws that benefit the super-rich to limit the income and wealth taxes they pay — if any.
The powerful interactive campaign simplified wealth inequality in a very tangible way, and was designed to get audiences discussing the disparity at their kitchen tables, over coffee with friends and online with their networks. The campaign was a resounding success, gaining more than 1.5 million views online and collecting 1,400 signatures on a petition calling on the government to scrap the proposed Stage 3 tax cuts, increase taxes on the super-rich, and prioritise public services and aid programs that will reduce poverty.
For real change to occur, we need to build an economic system that doesn’t work just for the wealthy, but benefits everyone equally. Striking campaigns like this go a long way to publicising the systemic barriers that keep people in poverty — another powerful step towards a more equal future.