Cashing in on Covid: Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Gates, others added billions to their wealth during pandemic

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Updated: Mar 14, 2021 7:49 PM

The wealth of the nine richest tech titans in the US including Tesla’s Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, etc., jumped by $363 billion from March 5, 2020, to March 5, 2021.

Elong Musk, TeslaIn order to address the wealth inequality in the US, the country had earlier this month proposed the ‘Ultra Millionaire Tax Act’ to levy 2 per cent annual tax on rich Americans. (Image: REUTERS)

Even as the Covid pandemic impacted people, businesses, and economies across the world, the wealth of technology billionaires only skyrocketed further in the past year. The fortune of the nine richest tech titans in the US including Tesla’s Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Michael Dell jumped by $363 billion from March 5, 2020, to March 5, 2021, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Elon Musk had led the pack with $118 billion added to his net worth during the period followed by Jeff Bezos who added $58 billion to his wealth, Larry Page with $33 billion addition to his fortune, Sergey Brin with $32 billion, $29 billion added to the wealth of Mark Zuckerberg, $28 billion to Larry Ellison, Bill Gates added $24 billion, Steve Ballmer earned $23 billion and Michael Dell $18 billion, according to a report by The Washington Post citing Bloomberg data. The report noted that nearly all the wealth addition was tied to the companies’ share price the men co-founded or lead, and in which they remain significant shareholders.

Also read: Blistering bitcoin: Cryptocurrency surges past $61,000 mark in record high as latest bull run accelerates

In order to address the wealth inequality in the US, the country had earlier this month proposed the ‘Ultra Millionaire Tax Act’ to annually tax 2 per cent levy on Americans with a wealth of more than $50 million and 3 per cent on wealth of over $1 billion. The tax would affect the wealthiest 100,000 American families or the top 0.5 per cent, CNBC had reported. Once it comes into effect, Bezos would have to pay $5.7 billion while Musk would be paying $4.6 billion in taxes for 2020. Likewise, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg would have to pay $3.6 billion and $3 billion respectively, based on the calculations from the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness.

In fact, Gates had himself stressed in the past on having a fair tax system in the US to reduce wealth gap. According to Gates, the distance between the top and bottom incomes in the US is much greater than it was 50 years ago, he wrote in his blog on December 30, 2019. “That’s why I’m for a tax system in which, if you have more money, you pay a higher percentage in taxes. And I think the rich should pay more than they currently do, and that includes Melinda and me.”

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