In two years of pandemic, the fork among the assets of the richest in the world and the rest of the population has been expanding dramatically with the ten richest men of the world who have doubled their wealth. Oxfam notes this in “The pandemic of inequality”, the new report published by the British organization, on the occasion of the opening of the proceedings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, that this year yes they will hold in virtual form.
Assets doubled with Covid
Oxfam’s calculations indicate that, since the emergency began in 2020, the 10 richest men in the world have more than doubled their assets, from 700 to 1,500 billion dollars, at the rate of $ 15,000 per second, $ 1.3 billion per day. Dizzying increases resulting from the rise in stock and property prices.
A few examples. Elon Musk, according to data from Forbes magazine, it saw its wealth increase 10-fold to $ 294 billion in the first 20 months of the pandemic, surpassing Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, as the richest person in the world.
In the same period, the incomes of 99 percent of the world population have risen reduced from March 2020 to October 2021, and 163 million people fell into poverty as a result of the pandemic.
“It’s the virus of inequality, not only the pandemic, to devastate so many lives ”, they explain from Oxfam, according to which every 4 seconds a person dies from lack of access to treatment, from the impacts of the climate crisis, from hunger, from gender-based violence.
“Central banks pumped billions of dollars into financial markets to save the economy, but much of these resources ended up in the pockets of billionaires riding the stock market boom,” he said. Gabriela Bucher, director of Oxfam International – Some sectors have benefited from the crisis with adverse consequences for too many, as in the case of the pharmaceutical sector, fundamental in the fight against the pandemic, but subject to the logic of profit and reluctant to temporarily suspend patents and share know-how how and technologies needed to increase the production of Covid vaccines and save lives even in the most vulnerable contexts on the planet “.
Among those who hoarded profits in the pandemic, the big pharma companies engaged in the production of the vaccine also stand out. While the monopolies held by Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna made it possible to make profits of $ 1,000 per second and create 5 new billionaires, less than 1% of their vaccines reached people in low-income countries.
The percentage of people with COVID-19 who die from the virus in developing countries is about double that of rich countries, while to date in low-income countries just 4.81% of the population has been vaccinated.
Oxfam: tax those who got rich during the pandemic
Oxfam therefore asked the various governments to impose one one-time fee on assets of 99 percent on unexpected earnings during Covid-19.
In this way, more than 800 billion dollars would be obtained, an amount “sufficient to vaccinate the whole world” and to guarantee “health systems for all”, but also to “compensate for the damage caused by climate change and launch policies to combat the violence of gender, ”argued Bucher pointing out that the ten billionaires after this withdrawal would in any case remain richer than they were at the beginning of the global health emergency.