The Coronavirus has grappled the world and brought the entire health infrastructure all over the world onto its knees. Covid-19 which began almost two years ago has taken a toll on all of us. The virus has taken 60 lakh lives till now and continues to create havoc in the lives of people. It has left millions of people jobless, and economies of various countries succumbing to the pressure.
The lockdown and the pandemic have affected people’s wealth as people had to shut down their businesses and lose their jobs. But the pandemic did not affect all of us in the same way. Oxfam, a charity firm has reported that Covid-19 has made the world’s top ten richest men even richer. According to the data, the wealth of the top 10 richest people has doubled during the two years of the virus.
The report that was published on January 17 stated that one new billionaire was created almost every day during this pandemic. It also reported that 99 percent of the population was worse off. It was attributed mainly to the lockdown and its side effects including lower international trade, less international tourism. 160 million people are estimated to be pushed into poverty owing to the pandemic that took over the world in 2019.
The policy paper of the firm called “Inequality kills” reported that the wealth of the top 10 ten richest people in the world has doubled since the beginning of the pandemic. The incomes of the rest of the 99 percent of the population are worse off. It also stated that the widening economic gaps, gender, and racial inequalities plus the inequalities that already exist between nations are the reasons our world is being torn apart. The report further said that extreme wealth can be clawed back through progressive taxation, by investing in powerful, inequality-busting public measures and the much-needed shift in the economy and the society as a whole.
As per the list released by Forbes, the top 10 richest men are Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Larry Ellison, Warren Buffet, Bernard Arnault. The collective wealth has increased to $1.5 trillion from $700 billion before the pandemic. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is the richest man alive right now. His wealth has grown by 1000 percent during this pandemic and has risen up to $304.2 billion.
We have to collectively listen to the movements that are demanding change and become courageous to create an economy in which no one lives in poverty, in which inequality no longer kills humanity.