There are now 813 billionaires with $5.7 trillion in wealth, making the ten-figure club even more powerful economically and politically. We need a progressive taxation system to reverse inequality.

by Omar Ocampo,

A new, disturbing milestone has been confirmed with the release of Forbes Magazine’s 38th annual World Billionaires List. The US billionaire class is now larger and richer than ever, with 813 ten-figure oligarchs holding $5.7 trillion firmly in their possession.

This is a $1.2 trillion increase compared to the year before, bringing total billionaire gains since mid-March 2020 to a gargantuan $2.7 trillion in current dollars.

The staggering upsurge in billionaire wealth over the last four years is further proof that our economy is designed primarily to benefit high-net-worth individuals. Profits are not held by the laboring masses who produce it. Instead, they flow into the bank accounts of the wealthiest Americans, who use those earnings and assets to undermine our democracy.

tax the rich sign at protest

The resources of the billionaire class endow them with an enormous power to influence the political process directly and indirectly. Even when their preferred candidates are not in office, our democratic institutions are still more likely to respond to the policy preferences of the rich rather than the average voter, especially when it comes to taxes.

It is no secret that the vast majority of Americans, including 63 percent of Republicans, are supportive of measures that increase taxes on the wealthy. Yet our representatives consistently fail to deliver on this demand. A quintessential example of this was Donald Trump’s 2017 Tax Reform bill that promised to boost everyone’s income. It was the most unpopular piece of legislation to be approved and signed into law in the past twenty-five years.

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