Billionaires Increased Their Wealth By 27% During A Pandemic And A Recession

When money decides if you live or die.

4 min readOct 9, 2020


I read not too long ago that billionaire wealth had increased by 27% during the course of the pandemic. This is an astonishing figure in the context of a deep recession. Just this last month alone, more than 800,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits were filed. At the beginning of the pandemic, more than 6 million claims were file in one month. And prior to the pandemic, 221,000 claims were filed in January. How is it that during this time, billionaires increased their wealth by so much? Is that what Trump meant when he says he built the greatest economy the world has ever seen?

That’s like getting a raise of 27% in less than a year. Hiring freezes about. Wage freezes abound. Where I work, there are no raises, no 401k matches, no promotions, and no hiring, all just to keep from laying people off. But the CEO is a billionaire and he increased his wealth during the pandemic.

Somehow I doubt he suddenly got to be more efficient, more effective than everyone else. Through the wonder and sanctity of contracts, laws, and compensation consultants, some people are accumulating wealth at an astounding rate, and they’re not actually producing more than they were before the pandemic. I don’t know anyone who got a 27% raise during the pandemic, but the billionaires got one.

If the pandemic has shown us anything, it has shown us that in America, money is what decides if you live or die. Early on in the pandemic, we saw people being buried by the hundreds in New York in plain wooden boxes. Isn’t interesting that they weren’t cremated instead? I guess the sight of rows of boxes filled with the dead was more dramatic, but those people had no next of kin, and we didn’t really know who they were. At least we can be sure they were poor.

In this pandemic, health insurance was a big factor in whether or not someone lived or died. Another factor was that most of the people dying at the hands of the coronavirus were over 65 and overweight. Huh. Who do we know who fits that demographic? Oh, yeah. Donald Trump.

Last Friday, Trump gave public notice that he had COVID. Since then he’s been in hospitals, receiving the best of the best in American healthcare. He has what we could call, Universal Healthcare. He fits the demographic too, except for that part about being poor. He’s not poor, but…