“The rich become richer” doesn’t even incite to tell the story these days.
As stated by the Institute for Policy Studies, the wealth of the Top 12 billionaires in the U.S. recently blasted to more than one trillion dollars — and yes, that’s thirteen digits.
Quite obviously, the statistic is an eye-popping figure on its face, made even more so in light of the devastation in the broader economy due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a disturbing milestone in the U.S. history of concentrated wealth and power,” said Chuck Collins, a director for the Washington D.C.-based progressive think tank.
“This is too much economic and political power in the hands of twelve people. From a democratic self-governing society, this represents an Oligarchic Dozen.“
Following the pandemic first blew up in the U.S. back in March, the “Oligarchic Dozen” has enjoyed a 40% surge in its combined wealth — or an increase of $283 billion.
Tesla’s TSLA, +2.80% Elon Musk has been the biggest beneficiary, with his wealth, as of August 13, tripling to $73 billion. That doesn’t even involve the fierce rally in Tesla shares on Monday, which pushed Musk into the fourth position on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Here’s the complete list:
Omar Ocampo, a researcher for IPS’ program on inequality and the common good stated:
“The total wealth of the Oligarchic Dozen is greater than the GDP of Belgium and Austria combined. Meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans are unemployed or living paycheck to paycheck, and 170,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States.”
The Oligarchic Dozen, like everybody else, got off to a bumpy start this year, with the group’s combined wealth declining by almost $100 billion from January 1 to March 18. It didn’t take long for their net worth to rebound and exceed their September 2019 levels, except for Warren Buffett BRK.A, +1.03%, who is still a couple billion short of his year-ago figure.
And it’s not just Bezos and the group who have seen fortune smile upon them recently. Overall, CEO earnings climbed to its highest level in seven years last year. It is positioned to rise once again in 2020, according to an Economic Policy Institute study cited by the Washington Post.
The researchers discovered the pay ratio between chief executives and workers at America’s 350 biggest companies has widened to 320-to-1.