Sunday, January 03, 2021

Will 2021 be Different?

 Once more, the Socialism Or Your Money Blog, unapologetically, draws attention to the great wealth gap between the rich and the the rest of us mere mortals. 

The richest 500 people on the planet added $1.8 trillion to their combined wealth in 2020, accumulating a total net worth of $7.6 trillion. 

Despite the economic reverses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index recorded its largest annual gain in the list's history last year, with a 31% increase in the wealth of the richest people.  These 500 richest people in the world amassed as much wealth ($2,000,000,000,000) in 2020 alone as the poorest 165 million Americans have earned in their entire lives.

This concentration of riches has happened while at the same time the United Nations last month warned more than 207 million additional people will fall into extreme poverty in the next decade—bringing the number of people living in extreme poverty to one billion by 2030. 

In the richest country in the world, the United States, the rapidly widening gap between the richest and poorest people grew especially stark in 2020. The above graph depicts all U.S. wealth and if you look very closely at it, you can see a very fine blue line showing every dolla half of Americans have. Richest 10% possess $81Trillion while the poorest 50% have $2Trillion. For every $100 in economic growth in the last 30 years, the top 10% got $71. The bottom half got $1.

Nine of the top 10 richest people in the world live in the United States and own more than $1.5 trillion. Meanwhile, with more than half of U.S. adults living in households that lost income due to the pandemic.  Nearly 26 million Americans reported having insufficient food and other groceries in November—contributing to a rise in shop-lifting of essential goods including diapers and baby formula. About 12 million renters were expected to owe nearly $6,000 in back rent after the new year. It is near impossible to start a revolution when you’re working frantically to feed and house your family. in others words, some would say, the system is working perfectly

Tesla CEO Elon Musk enjoyed an historic growth in wealth last year, becoming the second richest person in the world and knocking Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates down to third place. Musk's total net worth grew by $142 billion in 2020, to $170 billion—the fastest creation of personal wealth in history, according to Bloomberg.  Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is at the top of the list, with a net worth of $190 billion. Bezos added more than $75 billion to his wealth in 2020, as the public grew dependent on online shopping due to Covid-19 restrictions and concern for public health. 

Joe Biden has already reassured the billionaires that:

  “Nothing will fundamentally change” about their wealth and prerogatives under his administration.

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