A recent report claims that the world’s top 10 richest men all saw their wealth double over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, while 99 percent of global income dropped dramatically during the same period.
As reported by ABC News, a study published on Monday by the group Oxfam showed that the collective wealth of the top 10 doubled from approximately $700 billion to over $1.5 trillion between March of 2020 and November of 2021. During that same time, over 160 million people fell into poverty as incomes plummeted. The increase for the top 10 in less than two years represented a greater increase for their wealth than their growth over the previous 14 years combined.
The 10 men who were the focus of Oxfam’s study were: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer and Warren Buffett. The data for the study was gathered from the World Bank.
“Billionaires have had a terrific pandemic,” said Oxfam’s International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. “Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to save the economy, yet much of that has ended up lining the pockets of billionaires riding a stock market boom.” Bucher also claimed that, even if the top 10 were to lose 99 percent of their income, they would still hold more wealth than 99 percent of the world’s population.
One significant source of income for the ultra-wealthy can be found in the stock market. In the United States, over half of all publicly-traded stocks are owned by the top 1 percent of the population; conversely, the lower 50 percent of American households collectively own less than 1 percent of all stocks. Subsequently, the relatively speedy recovery of the stock market reflects the massive increase in wealth for the elite, even as the broader economy such as the jobs market struggles to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Oxfam concluded that the only way to counter this economic inequality is to tax the rich, a mantra that has been repeated by far-left activists and politicians but has consistently failed to gain traction. “Instead of lining the pockets of the ultra-wealthy,” said Abby Maxman, the head of Oxfam America, “we should be investing billions of dollars into our economy, our children and our planet, paving the way for a more equal and sustainable future.”