Billionaires thrive as poverty rises significantly due to COVID lockdown policies
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February 3, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Two reports released last week document the dramatically growing disparity between the world’s wealthiest people and the rising number of families living in poverty due to governments’ COVID-19 policies.
A report from the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) found that “8.8 per cent of global working hours were lost relative to the fourth quarter of 2019, equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs.” This equates to a job loss “approximately four times greater than during the global financial crisis in 2009.”
In addition, the global labor income lost in 2020 is “estimated to have declined by 8.3 per cent, which amounts to US $3.7 trillion,” including the highest percentage experienced by workers in the Americas at 10.3%, and the lowest in Asia and the Pacific at 6.6%.
Oxfam International also released a report, titled “The Inequality Virus,” which summarizes that “hundreds of millions of people are being forced into poverty while many of the richest — individuals and corporations — are thriving” as a result of COVID-19 policies put in place by governments across the world.
“Billionaire fortunes returned to their pre-pandemic highs in just nine months, while recovery for the world’s poorest people could take over a decade,” the organization wrote.
The report cites several global organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD],” stating they “have all expressed deep concern that the pandemic will drive up inequality all over the world, with deeply harmful effects.”
“The impact will be profound,” said Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF, “with increased inequality leading to economic and social upheaval: a lost generation in the 2020s whose after-effects will be felt for decades to come.”
Oxfam, a left-leaning organization devoted to “fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice,” based its findings on a survey of 295 economists in 79 countries, where “87% of respondents expected that income inequality in their country was either going to increase or strongly increase as a result of the pandemic.”
According to Forbes, for billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, pandemic lockdown policies turned out to be a boon to their fortunes, with their collective net worth growing “by $1.1 trillion over the past ten months.”
This development is in sharp contrast to the devastation which has hit small locally-owned businesses, inflicting tremendous financial harm upon the middle class.
To put this difference in perspective, Forbes’ Tommy Beer explained that these billionaire gains could have financed all of the relief to working families in the federal government’s last $1.9 trillion stimulus package, “while leaving the nation’s richest households no worse off than they were before” government lockdown policies began last March.