Too rich for you?

The news broke recently, right before the annual Davos convention of the world’s richest people (done by Zoom this year), that the world’s top ten billionaires had doubled their combined wealth during the pandemic, to the tune of about $800,000,000,000 (800 billion), accruing at $15,000 a second ($1.3 billion a day).

It appears, as the BBC points out, that the figures might be slightly exaggerated. If you choose a starting day in February 2020, instead of once the pandemic, officially underway, dropped stock prices in March 2020, then the wealth of the ten richest men may only have increased by 70%, a full thirty percent less than the 100% increase in their wealth claimed by anti-poverty organization Oxfam in its recent report.

So rather than a combined almost two year windfall closing in on a hard to imagine trillion dollars, say, the world’s ten richest men may only have reaped a more modest five or six hundred billion, combined. Beyond that, all of the world’s richest men did not profit equally, throwing things off a bit more still.

Bill Gates, for example, only saw a 30% rise in his net worth, while Times Man of the Year Elon Musk raked in a more than 1,000% increase, skewing the average and making all the other world’s richest look worse than they actually are in evading all social responsibility while fighting to shield their wealth from taxes.

The BBC account does seem not contest these findings by Oxfam:

The pandemic has made the world’s wealthiest far richer but has led to more people living in poverty, according to the charity Oxfam.

Lower incomes for the world’s poorest contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day, its report claims.

But the world’s 10 richest men have more than doubled their collective fortunes since March 2020, Oxfam said.

Oxfam typically releases a report on global inequality at the start of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

That event usually sees thousands of corporate and political leaders, celebrities, campaigners, economists and journalists gather in the Swiss ski resort for panel discussions, drinks parties and schmoozing.

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they also note:

Oxfam’s report, which was also based on data from the World Bank, said a lack of access to healthcare, hunger, gender-based violence and climate breakdown contributed to one death every four seconds.

It said 160 million more people were living on less than $5.50 (£4.02) a day than would have been without the impact of the Covid pandemic.

The World Bank uses $5.50 a day as a measure of poverty in upper-middle-income countries.

As John F. Kennedy, raised in tremendous wealth (the Kennedy fortunes were greatly enhanced during Prohibition, as a result of taking bold business risks similar to those of organized crime) said: Life is unfair. Then they shot him in the head. His nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently said at an anti-vaccine rally in Washington DC, of the tyranny of vaccine mandates during a :

“Even in Hitler Germany (sic), you could, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic, like Anne Frank did,” said Kennedy, a prominent anti-vaccine advocate, in a speech at the Lincoln Memorial. “I visited, in 1962, East Germany with my father and met people who had climbed the wall and escaped, so it was possible. Many died, true, but it was possible.”

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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. later apologized for the remarks, as people of good breeding often do.