Covid-19: A new billionaire has been dug almost every day during the pandemic
Much of the wealth skyrocketed in the first year of the pandemic. After that, it continued to hold and fell a little bit, said Max Lawson, head of inequality policy at Oxfam.
“I have never seen such a rapid rise in poverty and growth in wealth at the same time in history,” Lawson said. “It’s going to hurt a lot of people.”
Benefit from high prices
Food and agribusiness billionaires have seen their total wealth grow by $382 billion, or 45%, over the past two years, after adjusting for inflation. About 62 food billionaires have been created since 2020.
Meanwhile, the net worth of peers in the oil, gas and coal sectors has increased by $53 billion, or 24%, since 2020, after adjusting for inflation.
Forty new pandemic billionaires have been created in the pharmaceutical industry, which has been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 and is the beneficiary of billions of dollars in public funding.
Taxing the rich
To combat rising geographical inequality and help those struggling with rising prices, Oxfam is pushing governments to tax the wealthy and corporations.
It is calling for a temporary 90% tax on excess corporate profits, as well as a one-time tax on billionaires’ wealth.
The group also wants a permanent wealth tax on the super-rich. It proposes a 2% tax on properties greater than $5 million, rising to 5% on net worth over $1 billion. This could raise $2.5 trillion worldwide.