The minimum wage hasn't risen in 10 years and is still 31% less than what it effectively was in 1968.
While the pandemic has been a nightmare for everyone, billionaires have amassed a huge amount of wealth during the same period. Nothing screams income inequality quite like billionaires minting money during one of the worst financial crises in world history. While ordinary people lost their jobs, got evicted, and suffered deaths, billionaires were swimming in money. This year's 35th Annual World’s Billionaires List by Forbes featured some of the regular names including Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk. They all profited off a global tragedy and saw their wealth grow manifold in the past year.
I cried looking at the new Forbes billionaire list so I did a bunch of number crunching (as I do) to calm down.— jane chung (@Jane24477) April 7, 2021
First, let's say this loud and clear. COVID-19 has been a boon for the rich. Founders, families & CEOs of the five Big Tech companies are now worth $651,800,000,000.
A Twitter user named Jane Chung said she was stunned after realizing the income inequality gap in the country and how billionaires for richer during a time period that was hard for everyone else. “I cried looking at the new Forbes billionaire list so I did a bunch of number crunching (as I do) to calm down. First, let’s say this loud and clear,” wrote Chung. “Coronavirus has been a boon for the rich. Founders, families & CEOs of the five Big Tech companies are now worth $651,800,000,000,” she added.
Their average growth rate from 2020 was 56%— jane chung (@Jane24477) April 7, 2021
My bank's interest rate is .01%. Some folks can't access banks, so their interest rate is 0%
Every $1 the billionaires earn, they get 56 cents richer by just sitting on it for a yr. I get 1 cent. 7,100,000 families in the U.S. get 0
“Their average growth rate from 2020 was 56%,” wrote Chung. “My bank’s interest rate is .01%. Some folks can’t access banks, so their interest rate is 0% Every $1 the billionaires earn, they get 56 cents richer by just sitting on it for a yr. I get 1 cent. 7,100,000 families in the U.S. get 0.” She questioned the morality of it, especially considering how much of the world's problems they could solve with that money. As the human brain isn’t really built to understand huge numbers, Chung broke it down. "Big Tech billionaires could end global hunger. TWICE, and that’s not all. They could eradicate malaria, end U.S. homelessness, and add the famine in Yemen on top of that, then split the remaining eight ways and still each walk away with $20,000,000,000. Each."
But my brain can't even imagine what hundreds of billions of dollars means, so I tried to find some comparisons.— jane chung (@Jane24477) April 7, 2021
Together, these Big Tech billionaires could end global hunger (for about $300B). Twice.
The tax system also favors the rich, with many top companies including Nike, Zoom, and FedEx paying zero dollars in federal income tax. Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos, also didn't pay federal income tax for several years, before paying in 2019. When Chung started getting replies that the billionaires had "earned" their money and deserved to keep it, she said she disagreed. The federal minimum wage is criminally low, especially when you compare it to inflation and living costs that have risen sharply through the years. It's been more than 10 years since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 in 2009, reported Vox.
In fact, they could end global hunger, eradicate malaria, end homelessness in America AND end the famine in Yemen...— jane chung (@Jane24477) April 7, 2021
... and still have enough to split 8 ways and *each* take home $20,000,000,000 to fuck around with.
When you consider the living costs and the poor wages, it's fair to say that workers losing their hard-earned money from poor policymaking, which in most cases is due to lobbying by rich companies. America’s lowest-paid workers have lost about $3,000 a year when you consider the rising cost of living, according to calculations from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Every dollar not paid to workers goes to the company and its shareholders which also explains the rapidly growing wealth of billionaires and the growing income inequality.
"But that isn't fair"— jane chung (@Jane24477) April 7, 2021
"They earned that money, they deserve it"
"We can't just take all of their wealth"
Ok! I disagree (&think we should take all their $), but have it your way!
Big Tech billionaires could give $139,300,000,000 away ... & still be as rich as they were in 2020.
The federal minimum wage is worth 17% less than what it was 10 years ago and 31% less than what it was worth in 1968. Nothing explains the increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Chung pointed out billionaires could give away massive amounts of their wealth and still be insanely rich. She also poked holes through some of the common arguments. “So I guess the moral of the story is, don’t you ever let your government tell you it doesn’t have enough money to feed & house & heal your people," said Chung, before adding, "Tax the rich."
They could send $2,638 checks to American family.— jane chung (@Jane24477) April 7, 2021
Or $18 to every adult in the world. (689,000,000 people in the world live in poverty, below $1.90/day)
And Jeff Bezos could STILL walk away with $113,000,000,000, Mark Zuckerberg with $54,700,000,000 & eat their gd hearts out.
and by that I mean, Tax The Rich 🔪— jane chung (@Jane24477) April 7, 2021
After rage-tweeting about the issue, she urged followers to support her mother's non-profit, which provides grief share and counseling programs to the Asian-American community for free. You can support the cause here.