Billionaires around the world added $4 trillion to their wealth during the pandemic
- A new report from the
Institute for Policy Studiesanalyzes billionaires' gains during the pandemic.
- The world's 2,365 billionaires added $4 trillion to their collective wealth, it found.
- A January Oxfam report said billionaires' global gains could pay for everyone's vaccine.
From March 18, 2020, to March 18, 2021, the world's billionaires added $4 trillion to their wealth, according to a new report from the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).
That's a 54% increase for the world's 2,365 billionaires, who now have $12.39 trillion. The wealthiest 20 billionaires alone added $742 billion to their collective wealth during a pandemic - a 68% increase.
A January Oxfam report, which tracked global billionaire gains through December 31, 2020, found that the world's billionaires had added $3.9 trillion to their wealth during the pandemic - an increase that could pay for the entire world's vaccinations and prevent anyone from falling into poverty. That report found that recovery for people at the bottom could take up to a decade, with 200 million to 500 million people falling into poverty in 2020.
Now, according to the IPS report, which analyzes data from Forbes, Bloomberg, and Wealth-X, those billionaire gains have grown.
Renewed calls for a wealth tax
One of the Oxfam report's possible solutions for creating a "better world" was imposing a
The IPS report found that American billionaires account for less than a third of that total wealth. But a wealth tax like the one proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren - where households with a net worth of over $50 million would see a 2% tax, and those with over $3 billion would see a 3% tax - would still raise $120 billion per year, according to the report.
From the end of 2019 to the end of 2020, the top 1% of Americans added just about $4 trillion to their wealth, while the bottom 50% held just $2.49 trillion in total household wealth by the end of 2020.
However, a wealth tax may still be a ways off in the US. President
"I'm open to other ideas, so long as they do not impose any tax increase on people making less than $400,000," Biden said in his speech introducing the package.
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