Since the start of the pandemic, American billionaires have been cleaning up. As more than 50 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance, billionaires became $637 billion richer. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth has ballooned by 59%. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ wealth has increased by 39%. Walmart’s Walton family has added $25 billion. Big drug company CEOs and their major investors are doing nicely, too. Since the start of the pandemic, Big Pharma has raised prices on 245 prescription drugs, 61 of which are being used to treat COVID-19. Apologists say this is the “free market” responding to supply and demand — the barons of Big Tech, online retail and Big Pharma merely providing what consumers desperately need during the pandemic. The White House is distributing billions in subsidies and loans to select corporations — enabling CEOs and boards to load up on stocks and stock options just before deals are announced, then rake in fat profits after stock prices surge. The richest 1% of Americans own half the value of all shares of stock held by American households. The richest 10% own 92%. For years now, stock prices have risen largely because profits have been siphoned from the wages of ordinary workers. Billionaires are doing better than ever. But most Americans are sinking fast. This isn’t just unfair. Much of it is illegal. Credit: NOW THIS
Poverty deprives people of adequate education, health care and of life's most basic necessities- safe living conditions (including clean air and clean drinking water) and an adequate food supply. The developed (industrialized) countries today account for roughly 20 percent of the world's population but control about 80 percent of the world's wealth.
Poverty and pollution seem to operate in a vicious cycle that, so far, has been hard to break. Even in the developed nations, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident in their respective social and environmental conditions.