Billionaires Get About A Trillion Dollars Richer During 2020 with NO Trickle-Down Effect in Sight

October 21st 2020 | كتبها

According to Time on Oct. 6, 2020, “despite the global economic shock, the world’s 500 richest people are a combined $813 billion richer now than they were at the beginning of the year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index”, and 2020 is not even over yet.

The largest accumulation of wealth took place in the technology and health-care sectors, “where fortunes jumped by 43% and 50%, respectively. Net worth among those in entertainment, materials, real estate and even finance, by comparison, grew at 10% or less.”

According to the Guardian on Oct. 7, 2020, “the richest person on the planet is Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, with $189bn. Bezos’s wealth has increased by $74bn so far this year”.

Amazon.com, Inc., of course, is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington, which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.

But this is not just about wealth increasing as a result of advances in technology favoring new over old industries. It’s also about gambling in the stock market too, with the super-rich buying stocks cheaply, when the market crashed during the curfew, and making huge profits when it rebounded.

Such momentous increases in the wealth of the super-rich were accompanied by a SHRINKING, rather than an expanding, economy. Global economic growth is expected to CONTRACT by around 5% in 2020 according to the World Bank.

So, socio-economic inequality has been rising back to the levels it was at in the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Hundreds of millions of people around the world have been losing their jobs. General poverty is rising. At the same time, the richest of the rich have been accumulating wealth as never before, NOT because the economy is growing, but while it is shriveling.

According to Neoclassical economic theory, a rising tide lifts all boats. Yet that is NOT happening at all. Boats are sinking, while a few super-cruise ships are crushing them down. Tax breaks and incentives to the lords of the ring have been wringing the life out of the economy. They certainly aren’t making it grow. In short, there has been no trickle-down effect. In fact, the “effect” has been trickling up to the super-rich.

This stark revelation, borne out of the experience of the Corona virus, but which has started long before it, should make people really think: is this capitalism gone awry, or has it dropped its mask in the middle of yet another crisis?

Ibrahim Alloush

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