American Billionaires’ Collective Net Worth Increased By More Than $400 Billion During Pandemic
The collective net worth of American billionaires has increased by more than $400 billion during a pandemic that has caused so much financial hardship to so many.
In a report created by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), it was found that between March 18 and May 19, the net worth of America’s 600+ billionaires jumped by a whopping $434 billion.
The top five money makers were Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison, who made up $75.5 billion of the $434 billion net worth accumulated in recent weeks. This saw American billionaires’ net worth go from $2.9 trillion to $3.4 trillion.
Bezos alone saw his net worth increase by 30.6% in two months. Only last week it emerged that the Amazon founder is predicted to become the world’s first trillionaire.
Meanwhile, last week alone saw 2.4 million Americans file for unemployment, bringing the country’s total to a staggering 38 million unemployed people, reported Forbes.
It is reported that 40% of people working in February who made less than $40,000 a year have lost their jobs in the past month.
In the ATF report, Frank Clemente, ATF’s executive director, said, ‘The pandemic has revealed the deadly consequences of America’s yawning wealth gap, and billionaires are the glaring symbol of that economic inequality.’
In 2018, there were more than 38 million people in the US living in poverty, according to charity Poverty USA; meanwhile Bezos is currently making approximately $2,489 per second. This is thought to be more than twice what the median US worker makes in a whole week, reported Business Insider.
Chuck Collins, director of the IPS Program on Inequality, said:
The surge in billionaire wealth during a global pandemic underscores the grotesque nature of unequal sacrifice.
While millions risk their lives and livelihoods as first responders and front line workers, these billionaires benefit from an economy and tax system that is wired to funnel wealth to the top.
A recent study by University of Cambridge found that while American billionaires are thriving, the rest of the world’s economy is taking a huge hit.
As per Markets Insider, the study found that the global economy could be set back by an eye-watering $82 trillion in pandemic-related damages over the next five years.
However, the $82 trillion is apparently a ‘worst case scenario’, with the university saying an ‘optimistic loss’ would be $3.3 trillion in the case of a rapid recovery.
Either way, while the likes of Bezos, Gates and Zuckerburg’s businesses are thriving, people across the globe are struggling.
It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.
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