COVID-19 was a boon for the superrich. There are few better examples than the founders, CEOs, and spouses of the five Big Tech giants: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Apple’s Tim Cook and Laurene Powell Jobs. I call them the tech barons.
The recently released Forbes World’s Billionaires List includes some shocking figures about our tech overlords. At the start of 2020, the tech barons were collectively worth $419 billion. A year later, their wealth had soared to $651 billion—a 56% increase. The hoarding of that wealth harms us all: It distributes resources away from those who need it most and, by allowing the tech barons to influence government policy, corrodes democratic society.
Most of us will never grow our wealth by 56% in a year. But wealth begets wealth. The superrich have access to investments that yield higher returns, the corporations they run pay less and