“How can Taylor Swift be an immoral billionaire if all she does is sing and give concerts?” asked a fan on TikTok.
Another fan said, “Taylor Swift is the only billionaire allowed to exist.”
Another replied: “Billionaires are literally hoarders of wealth.”
It’s a debate that’s been going around ever since Forbes made the huge claim that singer-songwriter Taylor Swift could join the three-parter club on her “Eras” world tour this year.
Swift is currently worth $570 million USD ($824 million) according to Forbes, and Billboard estimates that she will earn about the same amount from her upcoming tour.
Even if the estimate is an overshow, Swift only needs a fraction of the computation to pass the main stage (at least if you’re calculating in Australian dollars).
The debate is heating up now, and fans — known as Swifties — are wondering if they can continue to support a star who sits on that much cash.
Disagreement between her fans
Since the prediction was made in late December, fans have been obsessed with how ethical it is to make making a billion dollars every step of the way.
Questions in the comments and in the videos ask who makes the goods. Are they working reasonable hours and being paid appropriately?
Did she really need to release that much merchandise? Are their tickets sold to fans at a reasonable price?
Comments section in TikTok video discussion of Taylor Swift’s fortune. credit: Tik Tok
The discussion gets even murkier when you notice a Facebook group with thousands of members called “Broke Swifties” to help resell items at “affordable prices.”
Many people online are quick to note Swift’s history of philanthropy with donations made to a long list of causes. Others notice the huge landmark that will mark it. It would make Swift the first woman to become a billionaire just from being a musician. Rihanna’s billions (estimated at $1.4 billion ($2 billion)) come primarily from commercial ventures.
Jacinta Bailey, an Australian fan of 12 years ago, said the news had been on her mind ever since fans took to TikTok to share where they were.
A collection of Jacinta Bailey merchandise, with multiple releases from the “Midnights” album. Source: supplied
“Obviously we don’t know her as a person although part of the brand is making you feel [she’s] The girl next door, she’s your best friend.”
But the “girl next door” might be on the cusp of a billion dollars – and that changes things for Jacinta.
“I think I will continue to support her as a fan, but I don’t think billionaires should exist and I think it’s impossible to be an ethical billionaire…
“At this point, I think it becomes an act of robbery from ordinary people to hoard wealth without using it to improve one’s life and to accumulate wealth simply for the sake of wealth.”
She adds, “But then again, there is a lot of conversation about exactly how much control artists have over this kind of thing. Can we get crazy?”
Jimmy Dubois, 40, is another longtime Queensland fan. She said Swift deserved the monetary achievement, saying, “She earned it, and it didn’t fall into her lap.”
Australian fan Jamie DuBois said that the singer worked hard for her success. Source: supplied
She also suspects that such questions will be asked of her male counterparts.
“She had to constantly reinvent herself and prove herself over and over again to get where she is.”
Can an “ethical billionaire” exist?
Hoping to lead by example, billionaire founder of Patagonia, Yvonne Chouinard, has relinquished his wildly successful outerwear brand to a uniquely structured, not-for-profit trust. It is designed to pump all profits into saving the planet.
“As of now, the land is our sole shareholder,” the company declared. All profits, in perpetuity, will go to our mission to “save our planet.”
Patagonian billionaire Yvon Chouinard has abandoned his entire company to fight the Earth’s climate devastation. credit: Jean-Marc Jeboux / Getty Images
Last July, billionaire Bill Gates once again vowed to give away his fortune, adding that he would eventually “give up” from the list of the world’s richest people. the He said he has an “obligation” to give his resources back to the community.
Australian billionaire and co-founder of software company Atlassian Mike Cannon-Brookes has pledged $1.5 billion with his wife to help curb global warming, according to a report in the Australian Financial Journal last August.
Greens Senator Nick McKim, who holds the economic justice and treasury portfolios for the party, said the concept of wanting to remain a billionaire and being ethical couldn’t really coexist.
“People don’t become billionaires because they need the money,” he said. feeding.
“They become billionaires because it either feeds their greed, feeds their ego, feeds their lust for power or a combination of those three things.”
Green Senator Nick McKim said that the “ethical billionaire” does not exist, as many rely on unethical methods to obtain this wealth. Source: aap / Mick Tsikas
He said that while not all billionaires are equally guilty, they are still guilty anyway.
“All billionaires relied on social and economic structures that are based on colonialism, displacement, exploitation of workers, destruction of nature and cooking of the planet,” he said.
Most of the billionaires have actively contributed to these findings.
a , a UK-based sustainable marketing agency, claimed that Swift was the biggest celebrity booster, thanks to her private jet. They said the Swift was responsible for 8,293.54 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in just the first six months of 2022 –
Representatives for Swift have since denied the allegations, saying the plane was loaned to others.
Even if Taylor Swift is a leader in the industry, and finds herself a billionaire by accident, McKim said the ethical thing to do is donate until she’s done joining the billionaires club.
He said that this amount of money also needs to be kept in mind. On an annual salary of $100,000, it would take him 10,000 years to earn a billion dollars.
“No person or even a family can afford to spend a billion dollars in their lifetime, even on a lifestyle of the utmost luxury,” he said. “It’s an obscene amount of money.”
Taylor Swift at Kensington Palace at the Centrepoint Winter Whites Gala 2013 with Prince William. Source: GT / WPA pool
With just a small percentage of that money – an extra six percent each year under the “wealth tax” proposed by the Greens – McKim said the money could be reinvested in the public sector and many people lifted out of poverty.
Australian billionaires fall into the highest tax bracket – for people earning $180,000 a year and above. They are taxed $51,667, plus 45 percent on every dollar over $180,000.
“Governments must tax billionaires from existence and invest the revenue in the common good… This money will raise nearly $70 billion over the next decade, which can be used to fund things like erasing student debt, putting in dentistry and mental health.” in medical care.”
“No one is free from guilt here, and there are no ethical billionaires.”
Australia’s billionaires are getting richer, too
For the first time in 25 years, extreme wealth and extreme poverty are increasing simultaneously, according to a Released by anti-poverty organization Oxfam this week.
There are 11 more billionaires in Australia now than there were before the pandemic.
said Anthea Spinks, Program Director for Oxfam Australia feeding It shouldn’t be left to individuals to become philanthropists when they become billionaires. Instead, more intervention must be taken to slow or close the widening wealth gap.
Likewise, criticism of the organization lies with the tax system that allows the wealthy to generate this kind of wealth.
“We’re seeing a multiple crisis, with the effects of COVID, the climate crisis, the cost of living, inflation, all those things, which means millions of people are being pushed into poverty,” Spinks said.
“There is a solution to that, though, an economic solution, which revolves around reforming our tax structures and systems.”
Oxfam estimates that a stricter tax scheme for the wealthy could add $29 billion a year to the public coffers.
“One of the biggest things we’ve been advocating for the Australian government to do, especially in the run-up to the May budget, is to scrap the Phase Three tax cuts that have been proposed because we know what that will do is put more money back into the pockets of the wealthy.”
The Albanian government has Reversing the third stage tax credit designed by the Morrison government for wealthy Australians, which was legislated in 2019 with Labor support, it is due to come into force in 2024-25.
“Eat the rich” – a chant used to oppose wealth inequality – is one of the comments that often appears in discussion of Taylor Swift’s wealth. As one fan put it: “Sorry, Ms. Swift is still on the list.”
“She’s a palate cleanser among tech bros,” said another TikTok user, in agreement.