In the past year, in which economic decline became an overarching theme, billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk were able to break profit world records, said Entrepreneur. Both showed an incredible increase in wealth during the pandemic.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos retained his title as the world’s richest person, complete with a 63% or 72.7 billion increase in his wealth. This figure comes on top of the 116 billion he already owned by the end of 2019.
Bezos’ success in accumulating more fortunes last year came at the height of the pandemic, which saw an increase in online sales activity. This has become necessary in light of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders across the United States and other parts of the world.
Meanwhile, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who is named the second wealthiest person, made around $144 billion in 2020. This is explained by the rise of the electric company’s valuation that happened last year.
When combined, Bezos’ and Musk’s wealth increased by around $217 billion within 12 months, noted Business Standard.
Aside from Bezos and Musk, the wealthy has tremendously increased their fortunes. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index said that the top 500 richest people across the globe were able to add $1.8 trillion to their net worth combined. They are now valued at $7.6 million.
Again, this came in light of the pandemic, which only 0.001% of the world’s population benefitted from.
Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, said, “Surging billionaire wealth hits a painful nerve for the millions of people who have lost loved ones and experiences declines in their health, wealth, and livelihoods.”
He added, “Worse, it undermines any sense that we are ‘in this together’ – the solidarity required to weather the difficult months ahead.”