Science

Billionaires getting richer thanks to the coronavirus pandemic

The fortunes of the world’s 10 richest men have doubled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, while the incomes of 99% of humanity have shrunk, according to an Oxfam report published on Monday. “The increase in economic, gender, racial and country inequalities are destroying our world,” denounces the NGO fighting poverty, in a report entitled Inequalities kill and published on the sidelines of the Davos Forum.

$13.8 trillion

The accumulated fortune of all billionaires has experienced since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic “its largest increase ever recorded, from 5,000 million dollars, to reaching its highest level” at 13,800 million. The ten richest people in the world include, according to Forbes magazine, Elon Musk, Tesla boss Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Bernard Arnaud (LVMH), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Meta/Facebook), Waren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), Larry Ellison (Oracle).

The NGO adds that “we can overcome extreme poverty through progressive taxes” and public health systems that are free for all. Oxfam also recommends not hindering the creation of unions and removing intellectual property from vaccine patents.

Tax the 10 richest to produce vaccines

According to Oxfam, inequality contributes to the deaths of “at least 21,000 people a day” based on global deaths from lack of access to health care, gender-based violence, hunger and the climate crisis. “A 99% extraordinary tax on the pandemic income of the 10 richest men would produce enough vaccines for the world, provide universal health and social protection, finance climate adaptation, and reduce climate-related gender-based violence in 80 countries,” Give the example of the NGO. He specifies that this would still leave “8 billion more than before the pandemic for these men.”

“Billionaires had a tremendous pandemic. Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into the financial markets to save the economy, much of which ended up in the pockets of billionaires. The World Economic Forum for its part warned that wide inequalities in access to vaccines against Covid-19 risk weakening the fight for major international causes, such as climate change. The face-to-face Davos Forum was delayed until the summer due to the Omicron variant, but an online edition opens on Monday until January 21.

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