Covid Looting Spree - Fat Cats Get Fatter

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Covid Looting Spree - Fat Cats Get Fatter

The means-testing of Biden's lockdown hand-outs makes it inevitable that the people who need and deserve help more than most - America's hard-working taxpayers and real wealth-creators - will be shut out. The Democrats' pork-barrel politics means that the money will go overwhelmingly to the people who were already on benefits before the artificial covid crisis. 

But the working Americans in the middle aren't just getting left out compared with the people at the bottom; they are also being squeezed even more ruthlessly by the plutocrats at the top.

While the global coronavirus pandemic has crippled significant segments of the economy, leading to the United States suffering the sharpest rise in its poverty rate in more than 50 years, the collective net worth of the country’s billionaires has grown by $1.1 trillion over the past ten months, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies.

According to the report, which was based on Forbes data, the combined fortune of America’s 660 billionaires as of January 18 had climbed to $4.1 trillion, representing an increase of 38.6% compared to their collective net worth in mid-March of 2020.

On average, the wealthiest 15 billionaires’ fortunes increased 58.7%.

At the start of the pandemic, there were 614 billionaires in the United States; that number has increased to 660, with 46 new billionaires being minted over the past ten months.  

KEY BACKGROUND:

The chasm between those at the very top of America's economic ladder and those in the middle and at the bottom was immense before the damage inflicted by the pandemic on the U.S. economy. That divide has widened. According to a study released Monday by economists Bruce Meyer from the University of Chicago and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame, America’s poverty rate increased by 2.4 percentage points over the final six months of 2020.  More than 70 million individuals (or roughly 40% of the labor force) have filed unemployment claims in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic. 

TANGENT:

According to an IPS and ATF press release, the gains made by America’s billionaires during the pandemic could “pay for all the relief for working families” in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, “while leaving the nation’s richest households no worse off than they were before” the arrival of the coronavirus. 

CRUCIAL QUOTE: 

“U.S. billionaires are delinking from the rest of the society, an extreme form of social distancing. Their fortunes soar while most Americans are facing unprecedented health and economic challenges,” said Chuck Collins, director of the IPS Program on Inequality, in an email to Forbes. “We are further eroding our social fabric—the sense of solidarity that binds us together.”

Nowhere is this true than among Middle Americans, the ones who pay the taxes that help those at the bottom, and whose looted wealth and assets are the source of the gigantic fortunes amassed by the corporate monopolists and covid-profiteers at the top.

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