Billionaires Increase Net Worth by $434B During Coronavirus Lockdowns

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The net worth of the United States’ billionaire class has increased by $434 billion during lockdown orders implemented by most states to slow the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

Between March 18 and May 19, the nation’s more than 600 billionaires have increased their net wealth by 15 percent from $2.9 trillion in March to now nearly $3.4 trillion, even as more than 36 million Americans are jobless.

The analysis of Forbes data, conducted by researchers with the left-leaning Americans for Tax Fairness group, detailed how the wealth of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has increased by $75.5 billion since the nation’s coronavirus lockdowns began in March.

These five billionaires’ growth in net wealth, alone, accounted for 21 percent of all the wealth growth over the last two months among the more than 600 billionaires in the U.S.

(Americans for Tax Fairness)

(Americans for Tax Fairness)

Jeff Bezos, alone, has increased his net wealth by almost $35 billion, or 30.6 percent, since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdowns that forced small and medium-sized businesses to close while big businesses like Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon and Amazon-owned Whole Foods, and Walgreens were allowed to remain open as they were deemed “essential.”

While Bezos has grown his wealth, whistleblowers at Amazon have been fired after they revealed outbreaks of the coronavirus at their warehouses.

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, a whistleblower said he was fired after he exposed a coronavirus outbreak.

“We all should have been quarantined with pay,” said former Amazon worker Chris Smalls said. “The building should have been shut down immediately. But that didn’t happen. By the end of the week, Saturday, March 28th, they decided to quarantine me and only me, none of the employees, not even the person I ride to work with every day. So that tells you right there, they put a target on my back to silence me, but what I did was I mobilized a walkout on March 30th that resulted in my termination.”

Economists have noted that the wealthiest of Americans, members of the top one percent, are paying a lower tax rate than all other Americans. In 2018, the richest Americans paid a 23 percent tax rate — a 47 percent drop since 1950, when their tax rate was 70 percent.

House Democrats’ coronavirus relief package offered the rich even more of a bailout with a provision that would eliminate the cap on the little-known SALT tax deduction. In short, the provision would give millionaires and billionaires more than $100,000 in tax windfalls for the next two years.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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