Multibillionaire heiress ‘annoyed’ by fortune and plans to give 90% of it away

This billionaire is calling for higher taxes for the wealthy. Photo: Pexels

This billionaire is calling for higher taxes for the wealthy. Photo: Pexels

Published Nov 2, 2022


Whether you work hard and toil to become a billionaire or it is simply handed to you as inheritance, few would think to part with their fortune.

This is not the case for 30-year-old Austrian heiress Marlene Engelhorn who was born with the proverbial silver spoon and wants to give away 90% of her multibillion-rand inheritance.

“I was born into a rich family and will one day inherit a fortune for which I never had to work. Millionaires should not decide whether or not they contribute in a just way to the societies they live in, without which they never would have become millionaires,” she said in a video by Millionaires For Humanity, an organisation that advocates for a wealth tax of 1% on multimillionaires.

Engelhorn’s fortune began with Friedrich Engelhorn, who established BASF, one of the world’s leading chemical companies, 150 years ago in Germany. The family grew tremendously wealthy as a result.

“I am the product of an unequal society because otherwise I could not be born into multimillions. Just born. Nothing else,” she said in a speech at a Millionaires for Humanity event.

The young woman is also one of the founders of Tax Me Now, an organisation that is asking for higher taxes on the wealthy.

According to Engelhorn, social justice is in the interest of everyone and a wealth tax is one of the few ways millionaires can take responsibility.

Talking to Vice News, she revealed that she was not at all happy when she heard about the inheritance and was instead annoyed.

She told the publication that anyone who watches the news and is genuinely interested in people, talks to them and does not isolate themselves in their own echo chamber understands that there are structural links between wealth and poverty. And radical sharing is beneficial.

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