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Billionaires Rake in the Big Bucks While Regular Americans Suffer from an Economic Downturn

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According to Bloomberg Quint, billionaires such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates are striking it rich during the current Wuhan virus pandemic.

In the case of the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos witnessed his net worth skyrocket by $63.6 billion in 2020. His net worth grew by a mind-blowing $13 billion in just one day in July. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos is on the verge of reaching a $200 billion net worth.

Similarly, Zuckerberg has grown $9.1 billion richer in 2020. Ben Steverman and Sophie Alexander noted that Zuckerberg’s fortune is “within reach of the centibillionaire status already held by Bezos and Bill Gates.”

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“We moved the brick-and-mortar economy to an online economy dramatically,” said Luigi Zingales, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “Probably the same thing would have happened in a longer period of time. Now it’s happening in weeks instead of years.”

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The total wealth of tech billionaires in Bloomberg’s index, which ranks the world’s 500 richest people, has almost doubled since 2016, from $751 billion to $1.4 trillion in 2020. This represents a faster growth rate than every other sector.

The majority of the seven of the world’s 10 wealthiest individuals’ fortune comes from technology holdings. These individuals have a combined net worth of $666 billion, which represents a $147 billion increase in 2020.

Elon Musk also had a big 2020, with his net worth more than doubling to $69.7 billion after Tesla Inc shares recently soared.

Big Tech companies exercise tremendous economic power and have drawn comparisons to the trusts of the Gilded Age which also gobbled up a large portion of market share.

As of 2020, five of America’s most prominent tech companies — Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft — have market valuations that make up 30 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. This figure is nearly double what it was at the end of 2018.

Such concentrations of wealth have spurred criticism from politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders who are now pushing for radical wealth taxes to address perceived inequalities. If passed, this measure would build off the current income tax regime and create another layer of taxation.

Policymakers can address this issue by investigating the ways these companies potentially game government privileges to secure their place in the markets and also consider policies that actually deregulate the economy and make it easier for smaller players to enter the market.

 

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Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign

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The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.

At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.

Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.

“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.

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Fallon added:

I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.

“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:

This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.

I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.

Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.

“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”

“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.

“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.

Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.

A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.

Election Day will be on September 29.

Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.

 

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