When Martin Luther legendarily nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of the All Saints Church in 1517, the Reformation ignited Europe for centuries. But what was Luther’s main grievance with the Church? The selling of indulgences by the Church, or certifications sold to nobles in return for less time in purgatory for past sins.
Now we can see the same dynamic occurring in Europe today: Billionaires are donating hundreds of millions of euros to rebuild the fire ravaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in an effort to appease a population of Yellow Vests and their supporters. They are using their money for so-called unity. But they are saving so much by not paying taxes, year-after-year, that it makes these “gifts” not gifts at all. The country has been in flames over inequality and the rich come swooping in for Notre Dame when, if they paid taxes, the French government could rebuild it themselves?
No, don’t let them fool you: the 1% is not some kind of great philanthropic class: that money came from us and would be returned to us if they ever paid their taxes owed to the people.