Here’s the date when billionaires will own 100% of the economy by Jared A. Brock
Jeff Bezos controls Amazon. And Whole Foods. And The Washington Post. And IMDB, Zappos, Souq, Blue Origin, Kiva Systems, Alexa, DPReview, Fabric.com, Woot, Goodreads, Twitch, Audible, Elemental, Quidsi, Annapurna Labels, Accept, Living Social, Twilio, HomeGrocer, Bill Me Later, eZiba, BankBazaar, Kozmo, Ionic, Songza, and Wine.com. Plus he has VC stakes in Lookout, Juno, Grail, Workday, Vessel, Domo, Fundbox, Stack Overflow, Everfi, Remitly, Rethink Robotics, General Fusion, MakerBot, Unity Biotech, General Assembly, Business Insider, Google, Uber, Airbnb, and Twitter. And he’s working on acquiring MGM. Plus he owns at least eight mansions and 100,000+ acres, a bunch of penis-shaped rockets, and a $500,000,000 hyper-yacht.
Bernard Arnault controls LVMH, which has swallowed more than seventy of its competitors, including Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Dom Pérignon, Loius Vuitton, Moët & Chandon, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Loro Piana, Princess Yachts, Bulgari, Sephora, and Tiffany & Co.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns massive chunks of nearly fifty companies including Apple, Amazon, Amex, Bank of American, Chevron, Kraft, Mastercard, Sirius, Visa, Wells Fargo, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, GM, Merck, T-Mobile, GEICO, and Coca-Cola, which itself has eaten more than 400 competing drink companies.
Blackrock, which owns a piece of 5,480 companies including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Nvidia, Tesla, JP Morgan, Paypal, Home Depot, Disney, Exxon, Pfizer, Pepsi, AT&T, Nike, Walmart, McDonald's, Costco, and Netflix, just bought Reese Witherspoon’s media company for $900 million, adding to its $9 trillion Smaug-like horde.
It makes you wonder when monopolists will stop growing larger and larger.
And then one day it occurs to you…They will not stop until they are stopped.
There are now 2,755 billionaires on the planet, not including “royalty” and dictators. In the year 2000, they controlled less than $1 trillion.Today, they control more than $13.1 trillion.
13.5X in a generation.
And they’ve grown their wealth by $5.5 trillion during the pandemic so far.
On the flip side, there’s never been so many people experiencing suffering and deprivation in human history:
Systemic inequality pushed 200+ million people into poverty and cost women around the world at least $800 billion in lost income in 2020.
690 million people go to bed hungry every night (and the number is rising by 16 million per year.)
5.5 million people are moving into slums per month.
2.3 million children die from malnutrition every year.
Clearly, there is no limit to the depth of poverty and deprivation to which our global society will allow humans to fall — never forget that millions of children are still trafficked for rape annually and that nine million people die from starvation each year — yet somehow elite individuals are allowed to amass unlimited plenty in a world of deprivation?
It begs the question: Is it moral and right for us to allow individuals to hoard extreme wealth in the face of overwhelming widespread poverty, documented democratic subversion, and environmental catastrophe?
If humanity saw itself as the global family that it truly is, it would be morally impossible to not limit the amount that one family member could control while another suffered and died.
Jared A. Brock is an award-winning biographer, PBS documentarian, and the cell-free founder of the popular futurist blog Surviving Tomorrow, where he provides thoughtful people with contrarian perspectives on the corporatist anti-culture. His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Guardian, Smithsonian, USA Today, and TIME Magazine, and he has traveled to more than forty countries including North Korea. Join 20,000+ people who follow him on Medium, Twitter, and Substack.