A RECENT analysis of Federal Reserve report found that over the last three decades, the net worth of wealthiest 1 percent of Americans grew by $21 trillion, while the wealth of the bottom 50 percent fell by $900 billion.

ENTHUSIASM for a wealth tax on the United States' thin sliver of multimillionaires and multibillionaires may be unsurprising - after all, most Americans wouldn't have to pay for it.

But the idea is attracting support from a handful of those who would.

A letter published online on Monday calls for ''a moderate wealth tax on the fortunes of the richest  one-tenth of the richest 1 percent of Americans - on us.''

The ''us'' includes self-made billionaires like the financier George Soros and Chris Hughes, a  Facebook co-founder, as well as heirs to dynastic riches like the  filmmaker Abigail Disney and Liesel Pritzker Ian Simmons, co-founder of the  Blue Haven Initiative, an impact investment organization.

''We thought it would be a good idea,'' Mr. Simmons explained by phone as he waited out a traffic jam in the  Boston area. ''Liesel and I decided to reach out some other folks to see if they thought it was a good idea,too.''

The letter came together in the last two weeks. Eighteen individuals, in all 11 families, added their names, all are active progressive research and political organizations, some of which are pointed focused on the swelling gap between the richest Americans and everyone else.

The letter is addressed to all presidential contenders and refers specifically to a plan offered by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Her proposal would create a wealth tax for households with $50 million or more in assets - including stocks, bonds, yachts, cars and art. She estimates such a tax would affect 75,000 families and raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years.

A desire to curb the rising concentration of wealth has long been part of the Democrats' core message, but a Republican tax bill in 2017 that delivered the biggest benefits to Americans with the highest incomes reinvigorated the debate.

In recent months, Democrats including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Bernie Sanders of Vermont have offered ambitious tax proposals aimed at wealthy taxpayers.

At the same time, they have questioned whether vast family fortunes conferring outsize economic and political power are inimical to democratic values.

The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Patricia Cohen.


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