For nearly a year-and-a-half, individuals and small businesses have struggled to survive due to Covid-19. It isn’t the disease itself that is the most harmful. The financial burden of on-again-off-again lockdowns, draconian restrictions, and a populace terrified by unhinged fearmongering has forced tens of millions of Americans and likely billions worldwide into uncertainty at best, destitution at worst.
Businesses have shut down permanently. People have lost almost everything, and the worst is yet to come for individuals and families who have not been able or willing to pay their rents or mortgages. One might think this suffering projects in some form or fashion all the way up to the top. That is not the case.
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While nearly all classes of people have suffered to some extent, including the upper-class millionaires, the true financial elites have not. Those who fall into the category of “billionaires” have thrived. Moreover, there has been a spike in the number of people who have become billionaires during the lockdowns. What’s their secret?
“The top ten, those whose fortune exceeds 13 billion euros, saw their assets jump by 37 percent. The 490 others saw theirs increase ‘only’ by 25 percent.”
In reality, there’s no secret to it. This is how crises like the lockdowns act on wealth. Those who have more than enough tend to get even more. Those who have some are hurt a bit. Those who have very little are hurt the most. Trickle-down economics works both ways. In an ideal capitalistic scenario with all cylinders firing, wealth trickles down through companies down to the workers. Our current situation is not ideal, so hardship trickles down as well. But those with enough wealth to not be dependent on business atmospheres have risen through this crisis.
An article last week from Free West Media caught my attention as it highlighted this phenomenon manifesting in France. This is important, even to Americans, as France has had some of the heaviest restrictions on the population of any western nation. What we’re seeing there can and likely will be repeated here if we do not compel our government to end the restrictions. They must also end the “help” they’re giving people in the form of enhanced unemployment. This disease is not worth destroying businesses and paying people more to stay home.
Here’s the article from Free West Media:
According to the ranking published on July 8, the number of French billionaires has increased from 95 to 109 in one year. The increase in the wealth of the 500 largest French fortunes has jumped by 30 percent. Despite Covid, a minority of the ultra rich continues to prosper.
The ranking was published in the magazine Challenges, showing that the cumulative wealth of the 500 largest fortunes in France has increased by almost a third in one year.
The list is dominated for the fifth consecutive year by Bernard Arnault, the boss of LVMH, with the largest market capitalization in Europe. The strong recovery in luxury goods in the second half of 2020, driven by Asia, caused the share prices of the giants of the sector, including LVMH (Vuitton, Dior, etc.) and Kering (Gucci, Saint Laurent, etc.) to soar, and therefore the assets of their executive shareholders.
According to the magazine, which made its calculation according to the professional assets of personalities between June 2020 and June 2021, the amount of the fortune of the 500 richest in the country “is now close to 1 trillion euros”. “These are the strongest annual increases ever recorded by our list, set up in 1996,” Challenges pointed out.
The number of French billionaires was 51 in 2011, according to the media. Arnault was the richest man in the world for a few hours in May, ahead of the American Jeff Bezos (Amazon).
“The crises make us stronger,” Arnault said at the end of April, commenting on the good financial results of LVMH, the world number one in luxury goods.
EBay founder Pierre Omidyar, eighth, doubled his estimated fortune between 2020 and 2021, as lockdowns have boosted the online trade in second-hand items. “The top ten, those whose fortune exceeds 13 billion euros, saw their assets jump by 37 percent. The 490 others saw theirs increase “only” by 25 percent.
On July 3, the anti-globalization association Attac directly targeted Bernard Arnault by painting black windows of Samaritaine, the LVMH department store recently reopened in Paris, to denounce “the indecent enrichment of billionaires during the health crisis”.
This pandemic continues to send shockwaves around the world. For a disease with a recovery rate of 99.97% for people under the age of 60, it’s insane that we continue to crash the economy over it. Will common sense ever prevail or are the globalist elites too busy enjoying their good fortunes to worry about the impact on the rest of us?
Contrary to the beliefs of far too many, wealth is not evil in and of itself. We should all strive to achieve financial security, independence, and prosperity, but cashing in on the suffering of others is inhumane.