Buzzfeed: Some Made Tons of Money as the World Fell Apart

Labor News

Reprinted from Buzzfeed by on December 27, 2020.

“As millions of Americans end 2020 sickjoblesshungryindebted, or at risk of losing their homes, it’s unimaginable that at the other end of the spectrum,” writes in Buzzfeed, “the wealthy, shielded from much of this misfortune, became even richer this cursed year.

“But this is the reality of 2020. The same forces that made this year so awful for most people helped a select few add immense wealth.

“As more than 20 million people were receiving unemployment benefits and Congress held back too long on passing a second round of stimulus, American billionaires’ wealth had increased by $931 billion by the fall — more than the entire economy of the Netherlands. This divergence underscores just how drastically financial, political, and corporate systems are built to benefit those who already have so much, even in times of widespread loss, and exclude the have-nots. People with money, assets, and stocks saw their wealth and savings rise this year while those excluded from the year’s stock market rally were too often left in dire circumstances; some tech companies powered by low-paid contract labor thrived while their workers became sick or injured; and the widespread collapse of small businesses bolstered the success of competitors with greater access to resources and capital. …

Buzzfeed 12/27

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at