- During the COVID-19 pandemic last year, 80 million Americans lost their jobs while 8 million became poorer
- At a time ordinary Americans lost their jobs, over 600 billionaires gained $1.3 trillion to increase their wealth
- The COVID-19 period increased the gap between the poor and the rich
The gap between the poor and the rich in America became wider last year. More Americans joined the poverty basket in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, as 80 million citizens were reported to have lost their jobs between March 2020 to February 2021.
During the same period, 657 US billionaires collectively gained $1.3 trillion to increase their wealth. While the rich had little to worry about financially, the citizens who lost their jobs had to depend on a stimulus package from the government.
This was revealed by a Business Insider report which covered the living condition of ordinary Americans and billionaires from March last year to February 2021. eight million Americans were said to have fallen behind the poverty line.
Some of the biggest earners during the COVID-19 pandemic were Sergey Brian and Larry Page of Google, both of whom gained $11.8 billion and $11.4 billion respectively.
Among the gainers includes the Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet. The billionaire earned $7.4 billion to increase his net worth, according to Bloomberg.
The number of the poor increased between June 2020 and November last year. Donald Trump's administration had to support them with a stimulus package.
In order to bridge the gap between the poor and rich, Biden's administration plans to tax wealthy Americans by 40%.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Nigerian businessman and chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia gained N9.57 billion from the dividend paid by the Nigerian bank. This is due to his stake as a majority shareholder in the company.
Ovia has 3.54 billion shares in Zenith Bank. He had led the company for 20 years before resigning and then reappointed again. He has invested in several companies, including Visafone, which MTN Nigeria later acquired.
Fakoyejo Olalekan is a Business and Financial Journalist with over three years of experience in covering finance and business activities within Nigeria and offshore. Prior to joining Legit.ng, he worked at Nairametrics where he wrote financial and investment analysis articles. Olalekan is a resourceful and result-driven journalist with a track record for conducting extensive research and interviews to produce articles that provide different perspectives to market activities.