While most of the world has been on the receiving end of the negative consequences of coronavirus, a very small percentage have actually seen their wealth grow exponentially. As was the case for Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, the richest people on the planet experienced a massive boom in money during the pandemic.
The pandemic to have been beneficial for the 1%
With death tolls rising on the daily, jobs and freedom being lost by many and mental health on a steady decline, it is almost inconceivable to think that anyone has benefitted from a virus that has completely changed life as we knew it.
Oxfam Ireland have come out with a report revealing that the nine richest men in Ireland alone collectively amassed over €3 billion in 2020. Technically speaking, that would be enough to provide a vaccine for everyone in Ireland several times over as the national vaccination plan was estimated to cost around €300 million. Oxfam Ireland's chief executive, Jim Clarken said:
Rigged economies are funnelling wealth to a rich elite who are riding out the pandemic in safety, while those on the frontline - our shop assistants, healthcare workers and factory workers - are struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table, and often do not have benefits such as paid sick leave.
The greatest economic divide in all of history
This leads us to ponder what else could be done with the collective effort of the richest people in the world to end many social inequalities. Clarken explains how the economic divide of the rich and the poor has never been seen to be so wide:
Rising inequality means it could take at least 14 times longer for the number of people living in poverty to return to pre-pandemic levels than it took for the fortunes of the top 1,000, mostly white male billionaires, to bounce back
Who are the richest men in Ireland?
- The richest Irish person in the world is Pallonji Mistry with a net worth of €15.6 billion as of 2020.
- Financier John Grayken takes the second spot with a net worth of €6.9 billion
- Businessman Denis O'Brien comes in at third with €4.2 billion
- John Dorrance III has a net worth of €2.6 billion
- John Collison, €2,2 billion
- Patrick Collison, €2.1 billion
- Eugene Murtagh, €1.9 billion
- Dermot Desmund, €1.8 billion
- John Armitagem €1.3 billion