Richest in the Pandemic | Pasqualina Curcio

Jeff Bezos tops billionaires list

If the world is in a recession as a result of the pandemic, that is, that in 2020 there was 3,5% less compared to 2019 (the cake is smaller) but despite this, the rich got richer, then , without throwing many numbers we can deduce that the poor became poorer, which should not surprise us, on the contrary, the unequal distribution of production is what characterizes an economic, social and political system such as the one that predominates in the almost 195 member countries of the UN. We refer to capitalism, the same one that some say is "successful" and that it is the model to follow, although it is based on the exploitation of man by man, generating hunger, poverty and misery.

According to the report on global wealth published in June 2021 by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, in 2020 wealth increased 7,4% (representing US $ 28.716.000.000.000) despite the fact that production fell. Additionally, it is read in the aforementioned report that the inequality of the distribution of said wealth among individuals was "significantly greater than that registered in any year of this century." Regarding regions, the US and Canada registered the highest increase in wealth, 12,4%, Europe 9,2%, while China, 4,4%. On the other hand, in India it decreased 4,4% and in Latin America and the Caribbean it fell 11,4%. 

One of the main causes of the increase in the wealth of the already rich is due to the growth of the stock markets, which have been protected by the bourgeois states that, contravening their own monetarist theories and discourses, have increased the money supply by 6% with respect to the size of their economies (according to World Bank data, in 2019 the money supply in the world relative to GDP was 126%, in 2020 it was 133%). This greater amount of money was not used to protect the working people, but was channeled to the stock exchanges to save large capitals from the eventual collapse of the value of their shares.

The increases in wealth in the hands of billionaires were recorded while the World Labor Organization reported the loss of more than 140 million jobs during 2020, the worst jobs crisis in a century, and while OXFAM warned that "deaths from hunger exceeded to those caused by the virus. Estimates suggest that 11 people are probably dying every minute from extreme hunger caused by the deadly combination of conflicts, Covid-19, and the climate crisis. This rate would exceed the current death rate of the pandemic, which is seven people per minute. "

Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: “We have witnessed the largest increase in inequality since there is a record. The deep gap between rich and poor has proven to be as deadly as the virus itself. " 

In the report "Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020: A Change of Fate" published by the World Bank, it reads: "Job losses and deprivation resulting from the pandemic around the world are severely hitting people who are already poor and vulnerable, but, at the same time, they are partially changing the profile of world poverty by generating millions of 'new poor'. ” According to the same report, it is expected that, as a consequence of Covid-19, armed conflicts and climate change, 501 million people will join the extreme poverty statistics and “live” on less than $ 5,50 a day by 2030, meaning that global poverty levels in 2030 would exceed pre-pandemic levels, with 3400 billion people living on less than $ 5,50 a day

The American case, a country without a doubt capitalist and not at all socialist, is the most outrageous in the eyes of a humanity that suffers the scourge of the coronavirus. According to Forbes Magazine, in 17 months of the pandemic, from March 2020 to August 2021, the rich of that country saw their wealth increase 61,7% which is equivalent to 1,8 trillion dollars, it went from 2,9 to 4,7 , 3,4 billion in a context in which national production fell 2020% in XNUMX.

Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, heads the list of billionaires in the US, his wealth went from US $ 113.000 to US $ 187.994 million, increased by 66,4%. He is followed by Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX, whose wealth increased 612,8% during these 17 months from US $ 24,6 to US $ 175.361 million. Third on the list is Microsoft's Bill Gates, whose wealth increased 33,3% from US $ 98.000 to US $ 130.617 million. Mark Zuckerberg, from Facebook, increased his wealth 135,7%, from US $ 54.700 to US $ 128.936 million, just to name a few. By the way, these billionaires don't even pay taxes. According to the report "Billionaire Bonanza During the Pandemic" published by the portal Inequality.org, the 25 largest US billionaires paid on average only 3.4% of their growth in wealth in income taxes, several have been years without even pay those taxes. In fact, the tax rate applied for the growth of wealth (20%) is lower than the one paid by workers on their salary (37%), as is usually the case in a capitalist system where privileges are always and in different ways and give concessions to the bourgeoisie.

In the last 31 years, the rich have not stopped accumulating wealth in the US, it has increased 19 times (Inequality.org). Obviously they have accumulated time, but what is being observed in the middle of the pandemic is unacceptable: a third of all the growth in the wealth of American billionaires during the last 31 years occurred in these 17 months.

As 1% of Americans see their fortunes grow, more than 86 million workers have lost their jobs, nearly 41 million have fallen ill from the virus, and more than 670.000 have died from it. The labor income of private sector workers decreased by almost 3% in real terms from mid-March 2020 to mid-January 2021. Around 12 million workers lost health insurance. Between January 20 and February 20, 2021, 24 million people reported that they had not had enough food at home in the past week. Between 7 and 11 million children live in a household where they do not eat enough because they cannot fully feed them and 1 in 5 tenants are behind in paying their rent (Inequality.org).

For decades they have wanted us to believe that socialism is a failure, that it generates hunger, misery and poverty. However, everything mentioned here is made in capitalism, so it could hardly be said that it has been socialism, always besieged, sabotaged and contained by the imperial power, which has failed to guarantee the good life of humanity. 

The hunger, misery and poverty in which the majority of the world's population lives today is the exclusive responsibility of capitalism. The pandemic of this century has been given the task of exposing it. 

 

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