Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg have both made tens of billions of dollars during the pandemic. Yet many people still defend the super-rich
There is a school in my Manhattan neighbourhood that has been giving out free meals during the pandemic – and every time I walk past it the line seems longer. A community fridge recently popped up a couple of blocks away; it’s one of many that activists have installed across the city to combat growing food insecurity. Just around the corner there’s a young woman who has become a new fixture among the beggars I usually see in the area. She lost her job because of Covid, her cardboard sign says; she can’t pay her rent.
It’s not all doom and gloom. While the poor are getting poorer, the 1% are making out like bandits. America’s 600-plus billionaires saw their wealth grow by more than $700bn (£525bn) in the first few months of the pandemic, according to an analysis by the progressive non-profit Americans for Tax Fairness. During the same period, more than 50 million American workers lost their jobs. The US government has printed trillions in economic relief, but many of the forgivable emergency loans earmarked for small businesses seem to have been nabbed by the super-rich. My local independent coffee shop has closed down, but Kanye West received a partially forgivable loan worth at least $2m. It is becoming increasingly clear that the US is experiencing one of the biggest wealth transfers in history.
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