Rich gets richer! The combined wealth of the country’s 657 billionaires has grown by more than $ 1.3 trillion

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A year has passed since most of the country’s COVID-19 lockdowns began, and for many Americans, it was a time of struggling to work from home, take care of children in remote education, be unemployed, and wait anxiously on federal aid.

Still, US billionaires have had a year of record profits.

As of March 2020, the combined wealth of the country’s 657 billionaires has grown by more than $ 1.3 trillion, or 44.6%. These billionaires now have a combined net worth of $ 4.3 trillion, Fast Company reported

Those who enjoyed the greatest growth in their wealth between March 18, 2020 and January 18, 2021, according to a spreadsheet prepared by the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness published by Forbes

According to the list, Tesla’s Elon Musk wealth is up $ 154 billion, while Amazon’s Jeff Bezos made $ 68.5 billion. Mark Zuckerberg grew $ 37.3 billion, while Quicken Loans’ Daniel Gilbert made $ 35 billion. The top earners list was rounded off by Oracle’s Larry Ellison with $ 27.8 billion and Google’s Larry Page with $ 25.4 billion.

Fifteen billionaires, including Tesla’s Musk, Amazon’s Bezos and Facebook’s Zuckerberg, saw a combined increase of $ 563 billion since March 18, 2020, when COVID-19 started lockdowns.

Through March 18 of this year, Musk had a 559% personal wealth increase, or $ 137.5 billion, from the same date in 2020, Fast Company reported.

In the same year, nearly 80 million Americans lost their jobs. On February 27, 2021, 18 million people were unemployed.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Space X

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Space X

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

A year after the outbreak of the pandemic, billionaires are still enjoying a boom in prosperity, while 43 new names have joined the country’s billionaires club since the start of the pandemic.

On average, the fortunes of the 15 richest billionaires rose 58.7% between March and January, while some, like Musk, rose more than 500%, Forbes reported

The massive increase in prosperity among the country’s wealthiest was not celebrated by everyone as a victory for the economy.

The progressive Institute for Policy Studies released a report in April 2020 on ‘pandemic profiteers’ showing how the billionaire’s wealth recovered after the initial stock market crash following the virus outbreak and continued to grow.

Dan Gilbert, Founder and President of Quicken Loans

Dan Gilbert, Founder and President of Quicken Loans

Dan Gilbert, Founder and President of Quicken Loans

Larry Ellison, Oracle boss

Larry Ellison, Oracle boss

Larry Ellison, Oracle boss

Google co-founder Larry Page

Google co-founder Larry Page

Google co-founder Larry Page

“The pandemic profiteers are pulling windfalls of wealth at a time of widespread suffering for the majority of the people,” Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, said in a statement.

“They are taking advantage of the artificial markets created by the pandemic, including closing their Main Street competition and our increased reliance on online technologies,” said Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he believes the country cannot tolerate billionaires like Bezos, Zuckerberg and Musk ‘becoming obscenely rich in a time of unprecedented economic pain and suffering’.

“There is no doubt that big-tech billionaires and the companies that own them have endangered our democracy and control far too much of our economic and political lives,” Sanders said in a story about the massive increase in the wealth of technology billionaires. reported by The Washington Post.

“The time has come to tax their wealth and split tech giants and other major conglomerates that have monopolized almost every sector of our economy,” Sanders said.

Zoom, which became a household name during the pandemic while being used for work meetings, school classes and virtual gatherings, saw a 4,000% profit increase, from $ 16 million in 2019 to $ 660 million in 2020. The company paid no federal income taxes, reported Fast Company.

Co-founder Eric Yuan’s net worth was up 153% from $ 5.5 billion to $ 13.9 billion, and he didn’t even crack the top 10 pandemic profiteers.

Greatest American Billionaires

Americans in the top 10 of Forbes’ World’s Real-Time Billionaires list

(Net worth calculated on March 26, 2021)

  • Jeff Bezos (Amazon) – $ 177.8 billion
  • Elon Musk (Tesla, Space X) – $ 154 billion
  • Bill Gates (Microsoft) – $ 127.1 billion
  • Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) – $ 102.4 billion
  • Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) – $ 96.9 billion
  • Larry Ellison (Oracle) – $ 92.9 billion
  • Larry Page (Google) – $ 88.1 billion
  • Sergey Brin (Google) – $ 85.5 billion