Study: America’s Top 12 Plutocrats Now Own $1 Trillion in Wealth

New figures from the Institute for Policy Studies show that, despite a pandemic that has stunted the economy for months, America’s billionaire class is becoming richer than ever, adding nearly $700 billion to their fortune since the nationwide lockdown in March.

by Alan Macleod

For the first time in history, the 12 richest individuals in the United States collectively hold over $1 trillion in wealth. New figures from the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) show that, despite a pandemic that has stunted the economy for months, America’s billionaire class is becoming richer than ever, adding nearly $700 billion to their fortune since the nationwide lockdown in March, now holding $1.015 trillion. Speaking with MintPress today, the IPS’ Chuck Collins described his findings as a “disturbing milestone in the history of extreme inequality in the U.S.” adding:

This despotic dozen has tremendous power and wealth related to their control of the technological platforms and digital commons that we all depend on.”

Included on the list are figures like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest living individual, who has nearly doubled his fortune to an estimated $189 billion, and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who saw his personal net worth triple to $73 billion in the last six months.

The news of these billionaires’ growing fortunes comes amid record stock market gains. Yesterday, the S&P 500, an index measuring the performance of America’s 500 largest corporations, reached an all time high, closing at 3,389.78, breaking the previous record set in February.

Few Americans, however, are feeling any benefits. The coronavirus pandemic has wrought a terrible economic and social cost on the country, with an estimated 26 million going hungry in the last week, 40 million facing eviction from their homes, and around 55 million filing for unemployment benefits since March. Food banks across the country have seen great increases in demand and, in some cases, are struggling to meet it.

Wages fall as profits soar

President Trump has many times touted the surging stock market as a reflection of his administration’s competence, mirroring the 1950s slogan “what’s good for General Motors is good for the country.” However, few appear to accept Trump’s word on it. Dean Baker, Senior Economist at the Center for Economic Policy Research in Washington, D.C., told MintPress that, “Stocks measure the expected value of future corporate profits. With the labor market weak and likely to remain so for a while, wages are likely to lag productivity, which will be good for profits. Also, continued low interest rates mean there are not good alternatives to stock” — something that raises the question of for whom is the economy currently working. “It is a societal failure when so much wealth and power are in so few hands,” said Collins.

The full list of 12 plutocrats and their quickly rising net worth are as follows:

  • Jeff Bezos ($189.4 billion)
  • Bill Gates ($114 billion)
  • Mark Zuckerberg ($95 billion)
  • Warren Buffett ($80 billion)
  • Elon Musk ($73 billion)
  • Steve Ballmer ($71 billion)
  • Larrry Ellison ($71 billion)
  • Larry Page ($67 billion)
  • Sergey Brin ($66 billion)
  • Alice Walton ($62 billion)
  • Jim Walton ($62 billion)
  • Rob Walton ($62 billion)

Of the twelve, five have taken a pledge to give away at least half of their wealth during their lifetimes. But only one of those on the list, business tycoon and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, has actually seen his net worth decrease in the past six months. Bezos, whom some are predicting will be the world’s first trillionaire, has not, and is asking the public for donations to help his 800,000 employees through the pandemic. One-third of Amazon employees in Arizona are on food stamps, with other states not faring that much better.

While working-class Americans have had to make do with one $1,200 government check, the country’s billionaires have been most carefully looked after. A report from the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan congressional body, found that 82 percent of the tax breaks from the Trump administrations Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act went to those making over $1 million annually, with the super-wealthy feeling the most benefits. And as the government has gone on vacation until September, it is unlikely that any relief will arrive in the near future.

Nevertheless, serious changes are necessary, both over the short and long terms. “Without any significant reforms — which include an excess profits tax, a wealth tax and a progressive estate tax — wealth will continue to concentrate in the hands of a small minority and worsen inequality in the future,” said Collins’ colleague at the Program on Inequality and the Common Good, Omar Ocampo. With Trump promising another large tax cut, the problem of wealth inequality is likely to get worse rather than better.


Feature photo | Members of the public look on at a Seattle City Council before the council voted to approve a tax on large businesses such as Amazon and Starbucks to fight homelessness in Seattle. Elaine Thompson | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

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Peruvian Doctor claims Recent Advancements in Brain Chip Technology Could be due to “Secret, Forced, and Illicit Human Experimentation” by Big Tech & Rogue Government

A doctor from Peru claims that recent advancements in brain chip technology could be due to “secret, forced, and illicit human experimentation” by a consortium of transnational tech companies and governments operating outside of the law.

A 2016 paper published in the Egyptian Journal of Internal Medicine warned that “secret, forced, and illicit human experimentation” could be happening in Latin America, where poverty stricken masses are routinely recruited for medical trials.

The paper, titled “The secret of neuroscience boom: Are there secret human experiments in Latin América?, was written by Dr. David Salinas Flores, MD, Professor of Medicine at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru.

Dr. Flores writes:

“…an objective analysis proposes as a possible explanation for the so-called neuroscientific boom the suspicion that transnational technological companies, in illegal association with the US government, the European Community, China and some Latin American governments, are developing, in Latin America, illegal and forced secret neuroscientific human experimentation…”

Dr. Flores concludes by warning his colleagues to “…investigate, be alert, and report possible inhuman neuroscientific experiments performed by economic powers in Third World countries.

South America has served as a test site for unregulated off shore drug trials for the pharmaceutical industry for many years. Peru has been described as a “paradise of human experimentation“, and is riddled with corruption.

A former DoD official warned in 2006 that only the most ruthless nation will win the new arms race for human enhancement.

Fred Charles Ikle, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy under President Reagan, wrote Annihilation from Within in 2006.

In the book, Ikle warned that only the most ruthless nation would win the arms race for brain chips and human augmentation because advancements in the technology could only come from “intrusive experiments on living human brains.”

Ikle writes,

“At some stage in the project’s development, a nation’s research might greatly benefit from intrusive experiments on living human brains. Liberal democracies would normally shun such experiments, but ruthless dictatorships would not.”

Facebook, Google, IBM and Elon Musk have all heavily invested in projects related to human brain research and brain-computer interfaces. These tech companies have also made major moves to communist China.

China made an announcement this year that major advancements were made in its research on brain-computer interfaces. As the Chinese government publication Xinhua reported:

“China has achieved a breakthrough in Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) chip research, with its first BCI chip “Brain Talker” making its debut on Friday at the ongoing World Intelligence Congress held in northern China’s Tianjin Municipality.”

DARPA’S Brain Initiative, launched by Barack Obama in 2013, aims to, among other things, “create fully implantable, modular and reconfigurable neural-interface microsystems that communicate wirelessly with external modules…”

Given the history of secret human experiments by governments around the world, we shouldn’t be surprised at the possibility of this scenario.

Congressional testimony from 1995 showcased victims of secret radiation and mind control experiments in the United States:

Source: http://www.oldthinkernews.com/2019/10/16/are-secret-human-experiments-advancing-brain-chip-tech/