Category Archives: Poverty

The Wealth Gap Widens

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Did anyone benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic?  Billionaires did.

Tobias Lutke is the 40-year old CEO of Ottawa-based e-commerce company Shopify Inc.  He saw his personal wealth rise from $3 billion (U.S.) in March 2020 – to $8.5 billion in August.

Generally, e-commerce flourished during the pandemic as fewer people visited stores.  The poor got poorer, already hurting from the great recession that started prior to the pandemic.  Meanwhile, the rich got richer.

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man and CEO of Amazon, has a net worth of $189.4 billion. According to Bloomberg News, Bezos’ fortune has grown by $74 billion since the start of the year.  In just one day in July it jumped $13 billion.

The Walton family, who owns the Walmart empire, gained an extra $25 billion over the past year – the same amount Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zukerberg, saw his wealth climb.  According to Americans for Tax Fairness, the fortunes of U.S. billionaires soared by $434 billion during the pandemic lockdown between mid-March and mid-May.

Canada’s billionaire class is doing well too, thank you very much. The Thomsons, Canada’s richest family who oversee the Tomson Reuters media empire, saw its wealth leap from $31.6 billion in April to $37.7 billion in mid-August.  The Westons, who control the Loblaws supermarket chain, went from $7 billion in April to $8.4 billion today.

An Ipsos survey conducted in April showed that 40 per cent of Canadians under the age of 55 had only one week’s worth or less of savings to cover costs like food or rent if they lost their jobs due to the pandemic. In the U.S., almost 40 million jobs were lost by the end of May. And 40 million Americans could be evicted from their homes by the end of this year if state authorities don’t help.

In Canada, the top one per cent of families hold about 25.6 per cent of the wealth – roughly $3 trillion CDN.

Companies that are prospering are less dependent on large labour forces and are heavily invested in the online world where people work from home. That is one reason why Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google – the so-called FAANGS – are seeing revenue climb and increasingly dominate the stock market.

If most of the money is hoarded by a small group of people, the capacity of workers to buy goods and services shrinks.  Steep wealth taxes would put a band aid on this festering sore. Only radical surgery will rid the world of the underlying disease.

— B.W.

WEBCAST: The Exploitation and Resistance of Migrant Workers

Thursday, July 2   7 p.m. eastern time:  The Exploitation and Resistance of Migrant Workers   Host: Jeremiah Carag, with panelists Gabriel Allahdua and Pauline Corpuz.

https://youtu.be/feY3fS71NqE

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For more information, including links to past webcasts and other videos, go regularly to:  http://www.socialistaction.ca
For answers to your specific questions, and/or to join Socialist Action, write to:  socialistactioncanada@gmail.com

#socialism #socialist #SocialistAction #revolution #capitalism #cdnpoli #migrant #migrantworkers #immigration #nooneisillegal

People die – and the rich get richer

Amazon’s growing wealth and power during COVID-19

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People die – and the rich get richer

by Omar A. Sulaiman

COVID-19 has had many huge detrimental effects on society. Hospitals are overcrowded, businesses are shutting down, and thousands are dying. According to Statistics Canada, over three million Canadians have lost their jobs. In the United States, workers have lost 38.5 million jobs since March (at this writing). The COVID-19 crisis has driven unemployment rates not seen since the 1930s Great Depression. But the crisis is not affecting everyone in the same way.

As millions of working class households lose income, the world’s billionaire class gets richer. According to Inequality.org, American billionaires have seen a collective wealth increase of $434 billion, up by 15%. The wealth of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, increased by $34.6 billion, bringing his total net worth to 147.6 billion USD. Fellow

billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have seen their wealth increase by $25.3 billion and $11.8 billion, respectively.

Why is it that – as the world’s workers struggle to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic—the obscenely rich just keep getting richer?

Continue reading People die – and the rich get richer

WEBCAST: SOCIALISM 2020

WEBCAST – Socialism 2020, an international education conference online Saturday, June 6, with sessions at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

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4 p.m. Capitalism is the Virus – pandemic, climate change, economic ruin and authoritarianism,

France – Aurelien Gavois, a leading member of Anticapitaliste et Revolution, Nouveau Parti Anti-capitaliste in France.

Italy – Michela Guardigli, member, National Women’s Commission, Communist Workers’ Party (PCL), Italy.

USA – Lisa Luinenberg, Political Committee, SA-USA.

Canada – Daniel Tarade, SA-Canada member and science doctoral student at University of Toronto.

6:30 p.m. System in Crisis – A Working Class Vision for the Future,

Emily Steers, Socialist Action Canada activist, and Public Service Alliance, Local 902 member.

Jeff Mackler, SA-USA candidate for President.

Yves Engler, author, activist and leading critic of Canada’s foreign policy.

John Clarke, founding member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

 

For more information, including links to past webcasts and other videos, go regularly to:  http://www.socialistaction.ca
For answers to your specific questions, and/or to join Socialist Action, write to:  socialistactioncanada@gmail.com

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#socialism #socialist #SocialistAction #revolution #capitalism #cdnpoli #COVID19 #pandemic #cadpoli #virus #Trump #workingclass #workers #unionstrong #union #canlab #ecology #environment #ecosocialism #depression