U.S. Capitalists Gain $1.1 Trillion During Crisis

U.S. Capitalists Gain $1.1 Trillion During Crisis

The collective wealth of the capitalist class increased by $1.1 trillion since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March 2020. The wealth of the 660 U.S. billionaires increased from approximately $3 trillion to $4.1 trillion over this period. 

The number of billionaires also increased during this period raising by 46 from 614 to 660 billionaires. 

The wealth held by these 660 billionaires is two thirds more than the wealth held by 165 million Americans. While the billionaires are accumulating massive fortunes, over 25 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and 420,000 have died. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, health insurance, and are threatened with eviction.

Elon Musk’s fortune was boosted tremendously by the increase in the value of Tesla stock, with an increase in wealth of $154 billion. Jeff Bezos’ wealth increased $113 billion, an increase of 61%. Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune also grew substantially from $54.7 billion to $92 billion. 

As the mass of American workers suffer the negative effects of the crisis and pandemic, the capitalist class has profited and enriched themselves. The capitalist system is predicated upon the exploitation of workers, and the large immiseration of the toiling workers serves to enrich a small class of oligarchs. As long as capitalism exists, the billionaires will continue to benefit from the private ownership of the means of production and the enormous social wealth that they privately appropriate.

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