Income Inequality Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Income Inequality Media Articles in Major Media
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In 1981, Malcolm Forbes, the eccentric and fabulously wealthy magazine publisher, came to his editors with a request: Could they pull together a special issue about the 400 richest Americans? The resulting reporting project took a year, dozens of flights and thousands of interviews. At the top of the very first Forbes 400 list was Daniel K. Ludwig, a shipping magnate, estimated by the magazine to be worth more than $2 billion. Adjusted for inflation, that’s now at least $5.8 billion, a fortune that would land Ludwig in a seven-way tie for the 182nd spot on the last Forbes 400 list, alongside Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx; Gary Rollins, chief executive of Rollins, Inc., which owns several pest-control companies; and who could forget Peter Gassner, the head of a cloud-software company called Veeva. Since 1987, Forbes has published another list, which started smaller but has grown to be much larger: the World’s Billionaires List. The magazine just published this year’s edition, with a staggering 2,668 names. The task of gathering information for both lists is overseen by Kerry Dolan, an editor at Forbes, in a highly collaborative effort that involves at least 92 different reporters from all over the organization, including from the company’s many internationally licensed editions — Russia, Poland, Mexico and more. The 2022 World’s Billionaires list ... grew by 573 names compared with the last prepandemic list, in 2020. That year, the world was minting new billionaires at a rate, Forbes noted, of about one every 17 hours.
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The pandemic has made the rich richer while the income of the rest of the world – about 99% of humanity – dropped, according to a new Oxfam report titled "Inequality Kills." The wealth of the world's 10 richest men doubled from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion during the pandemic, the global charity said on Monday. "It has never been so important to start righting the violent wrongs of this obscene inequality by clawing back elites' power and extreme wealth including through taxation – getting that money back into the real economy and to save lives," said Oxfam International's Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. A 99% windfall tax on the pandemic gains of the world's 10 richest men would raise enough money to pay for vaccines for the world – as well as finance various social measures for more than 80 countries, the report said. The wealth of billionaires rose more since Covid started compared to the last 14 years, and a new billionaire was minted every 26 hours since the pandemic began. The CEOs of Covid vaccine-developers Moderna and BioNTech made billions in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, the vast majority of the population are worse off after losing income during Covid-19, and 160 million more people fell into poverty. One way to "claw back" the huge gains made by billionaires during the crisis is to tax the money that billionaires have made since the start of the pandemic. Even after the tax, the world's 10 richest men would still be billionaires.
The pandemic has made the world's wealthiest far richer but has led to more people living in poverty, according to the charity Oxfam. Lower incomes for the world's poorest contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day. But the world's 10 richest men have more than doubled their collective fortunes since March 2020, Oxfam said. Oxfam typically releases a report on global inequality at the start of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. That event usually sees thousands of corporate and political leaders, celebrities, campaigners, economists and journalists gather in the Swiss ski resort for panel discussions, drinks parties and schmoozing. However for the second year running, the meeting (scheduled for this week) will be online-only after the emergence of the Omicron variant derailed plans to return to an in-person event. Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB's chief executive, said the charity timed the report each year to coincide with Davos to attract the attention of economic, business and political elites. "This year, what's happening is off the scale," he said. "There's been a new billionaire created almost every day during this pandemic, meanwhile 99% of the world's population are worse off because of lockdowns, lower international trade, less international tourism, and as a result of that, 160 million more people have been pushed into poverty." "Something is deeply flawed with our economic system," he added.
Note: BBC sadly fails to mention it is not the pandemic that has caused all of this, but the lockdowns. 21,000 a day, which is one million every 50 days, died as a result of the lockdowns. 160 million humans fell into poverty a result of these lockdowns, not to mention the huge increase in suicides, murders, domestic abuse, shuttered small businesses, and more. Even if a million lives were saved by the lockdowns, was it worth these tremendous costs? For more, see summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable media sources.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a new era of inflation inequality, economists warn, in which poor households bear the brunt of rising prices. That’s because a bigger portion of their budget goes toward categories that have spiked in cost. Food is up 6.4% over the past year, for example, while gasoline jumped a whopping 58%. And now many people are facing those higher prices as federal stimulus programs fade away. “They’re essentially looking to stretch a dollar most days,” said Chris Wimer ... at Columbia University. “It’s going to lead to difficult choices between putting gas in the car or paying for your kids’ child care or putting food on the table.” A recent analysis by the Penn Wharton Budget Model found that low- and middle-income households spent about 7% more in 2021 for the same products they bought in 2020 or in 2019. That translates into about $3,500 for the average household. Meanwhile, pandemic-related production disruptions have driven up the costs of commodities that poor households rely on. The findings dovetail with an analysis [by] economist Alberto Cavallo. He showed that low-income consumers experienced price increases that were roughly double those of wealthier ones. In 2019, a joint paper from researchers at Columbia and the London School of Economics estimated that about 3 million more people would qualify as living in poverty if their incomes were adjusted for the inflation rates they experience.
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Closures from COVID-19 have affected 1.6 billion children worldwide. Nearly two years into the pandemic, experts say the economic costs are in the trillions and the social costs are incalculable. $17 trillion. That's how much the pandemic could cost children around the world in terms of lost lifetime earnings. The number comes from a new report by the United Nations and the World Bank. Closed schools combined with the economic crashes all around the world not only means lost learning, it means students driven into the workforce. And some of them are going to stay there. So that all translates to children learning fewer basic skills, which makes them less qualified for higher-waged jobs. And that is how they get that estimate of $17 trillion of lost wages potentially over the lifetimes of these children. UNESCO actually has a really simple benchmark, which is can a child, by the age of 10, read a sentence in their native language? And if they can't, they call that learning poverty. And they found that even before the pandemic, more than half of the children in low- and middle-income countries couldn't do that. And now learning poverty is projected to potentially reach up to 7 in 10 of those children. UNICEF says that 10 million more girls around the world could be forced into child marriage in the next decade as one of the most unusual cascading impacts of the pandemic. Essentially, they've run out of options for survival. So this is really a human toll that they're talking about here.
Note: The media continually blame the many harmful effects of the lockdown on COVID. The virus did not cause these problems, the lockdowns did. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
After years of declines, America’s middle class now holds a smaller share of U.S. wealth than the top 1%. The middle 60% of U.S. households by income ... saw their combined assets drop to 26.6% of national wealth as of June, the lowest in Federal Reserve data going back three decades. For the first time, the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. The data offer a window into the slow-motion erosion in the financial security of mid-tier earners. That continued through the Covid-19 pandemic, despite trillions of dollars in government relief. While “middle class” has different meanings to different people, many economists use income to define the group. The 77.5 million families in the middle 60% make about $27,000 to $141,000 annually, based on Census Bureau data. Their share in three main categories of assets - real estate, equities and private businesses - slumped in one generation. That made their lives more precarious, with fewer financial reserves to fall back on when they lose their jobs. The top 1% represents about 1.3 million households who roughly make more than $500,000 a year - out of a total of almost 130 million. Over the past 30 years, 10 percentage points of American wealth has shifted to the top 20% of earners, who now hold 70% of the total, Fed data show. A generation ago, the middle class held more than 44% of real estate assets in the country. Now it’s down to 38%. The pandemic ... led to soaring rents this year, which hurt those who can’t afford a house.
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The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents. Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers. They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed £70m of UK and US property. They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved £312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office. The couple bought an offshore firm that owned the building. The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco, and shows the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis - facing an election later this week - failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for £12m in the south of France. It is the latest in a string of leaks over the past seven years, following the FinCen Files, the Paradise Papers, the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks. The examination of the files is the largest organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), with more than 650 reporters taking part. Some figures are facing allegations of corruption, money laundering and global tax avoidance. But one of the biggest revelations is how prominent and wealthy people have been legally setting up companies to secretly buy property in the UK. The documents reveal the owners of some of the 95,000 offshore firms behind the purchases.
Note: Read about the Panama Papers leak that previously shed light on the tax havens of the elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
The wealthiest 400 American families paid an 8.2% average rate on their federal individual income taxes from 2010 to 2018, according to a White House analysis published Thursday. Those richest 400 families represent the top 0.0002% of all taxpayers. Their estimated tax rate, paid on $1.8 trillion of income over the nine-year period, is “low” relative to other taxpayers, according to the report. By comparison, Americans paid an average 13.3% tax rate on their income in 2018, according to a Tax Foundation analysis. The analysis comes as Democrats have proposed raising taxes on the rich and corporations to help fund up to $3.5 trillion of investments education, paid leave, healthcare, childcare and measures to curb climate change. The report’s findings are similar to those of a recent ProPublica investigation, which found that some of the world’s richest men (Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, Elon Musk and George Soros) pay a tiny fraction of their wealth in tax. The 25 richest Americans paid a true federal tax rate of 3.4% from 2014 to 2018, while seeing their net worth grow by $401 billion, according to the investigation, which cited confidential IRS data. Low- and middle-earners pay most of their income tax from wages on jobs. In contrast, the wealthiest Americans generate the bulk of their income from investments, which, if held longer than a year, are taxed at a lower rate than wages.
This week, House Democrats released their proposed tax increases to fund Joe Biden’s $3.5tn social policy plan. The biggest surprise: they didn’t go after the huge accumulations of wealth at the top – representing the largest share of the economy in more than a century. You might have thought Democrats would be eager to tax America’s 660 billionaires whose fortunes have increased by $1.8tn since the start of the pandemic, an amount that could fund half of Biden’s plan and still leave the billionaires as rich as they were before the pandemic began. Elon Musk’s $138bn in pandemic gains, for example, could cover the cost of tuition for 5.5 million community college students and feed 29 million low-income public-school kids, while still leaving Musk $4bn richer than he was before Covid. But senior House Democrats decided to raise revenue the traditional way, taxing annual income rather than giant wealth. They aim to raise the highest income tax rate and apply a 3% surtax to incomes over $5m. The dirty little secret is the ultra-rich don’t live off their paychecks. You might also have assumed Democrats would target America’s biggest corporations, awash in cash but paying a pittance in taxes. Thirty-nine of the S&P 500 or Fortune 500 paid no federal income tax at all from 2018 to 2020 while reporting a combined $122bn in profits to their shareholders. But remarkably, House Democrats have decided to set corporate tax rates below the level they were at when Barack Obama was in the White House.
Note: Learn more about this in this New York magazine article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
It was six years ago when CEO Dan Price raised the salary of everyone at his Seattle-based credit card processing company Gravity Payments to at least $70,000 a year. Price slashed his own salary by $1 million to be able to give his employees a pay raise. He was hailed a hero by some and met with predictions of bankruptcy from his critics. But that has not happened; instead, the company is thriving. "So you've almost doubled the number of employees?" CBS News' Carter Evans asked. "Yeah," Price replied. He said his company has tripled and he is still paying his employees $70,000 a year. "How much do you make?" asked Evans. "I make $70,000 a year," Price replied. To pay his own bills, Price downsized his life, sold a second home he owned, and tapped into his savings. According to the Economic Policy Institute, average CEO compensation is 320 times more than the salaries of their typical workers. "This shows that isn't the only way for a company to be successful and profitable," Hafenbrack said. "Do you pay what you can get away with? Or do you pay what you think is ideal, or reasonable, or fair?" Price said despite the success his company has had with the policy, he wishes other companies would follow suit. Bigger paychecks have lead to fiercely loyal employees. "Our turnover rate was cut in half, so when you have employees staying twice as long, their knowledge of how to help our customers skyrocketed over time and that's really what paid for the raise more so than my pay cut," said Price.
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The top 1% of Americans are avoiding paying an estimated $163 billion in taxes a year, according to the Treasury Department. That is pushing the estimated tax gap, the amount of money owed by taxpayers that isn't collected, to nearly around $600 billion annually, and to approximately $7 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade, the Treasury Department finds. Tax evasion is concentrated among the wealthy in part because high-income taxpayers are able to employ experts who can better shield them from reporting their true incomes. More complicated incomes such as partnerships and proprietorships – more frequent among high earners — have a far greater noncompliance rate that can hit as high as 55%. "The tax gap can be a major source of inequity. Today's tax code contains two sets of rules: one for regular wage and salary workers who report virtually all the income they earn; and another for wealthy taxpayers, who are often able to avoid a large share of the taxes they owe," wrote Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Natasha Sarin. The IRS is unable to collect about 15% of taxes owed and the lack of resources has led to a fall in audit rates. For the IRS to appropriately enforce tax laws against high earners and large corporations, it would need money to hire and train agents who can examine thousands of pages of sophisticated tax filings. The Biden administration is pushing to raise the IRS budget by $80 billion over 10 years to help increase enforcement, IT and taxpayer services.
Pension funds, investment firms and Wall Street banks are snapping up family homes in Europe and the United States at a rapid pace as prices rocket higher. At the same time, the soaring cost of home ownership means that growing numbers of younger Americans and Brits renting rather than buying houses as they start families. Some of them may find their next landlord is based on Wall Street or in London's financial district. Analysts argue that this will improve standards in the rental sector. But some tenants who rent from corporate landlords dispute this, alleging substandard services and excessive rent increases. If investors are hoovering up existing properties that would otherwise have been sold to individuals, that could squeeze out first-time buyers. Household incomes in the United States and United Kingdom have not kept pace with rising home values in recent years, a trend made worse by the pandemic, which has sent average house prices in both markets to record highs. Invitation Homes, America's biggest single-family home leasing company with some 81,000 houses, is currently facing two lawsuits brought by tenants in California and Maryland who claim that the company's late rent fees constitute illegal penalties under state laws. Current and former tenants of the company ... painted a picture of an uncaring landlord, slow to make repairs and quick to threaten eviction when rent payments are overdue or withheld because of unresolved maintenance issues.
Worsening inequality, as poorer people and nations lose years of gains in the battle against hunger and poverty, is likely to be one of the lasting legacies of the pandemic. New data released by the United Nations ... illustrates the unequal impact as measured by access to a basic human necessity: Food. Global hunger shot up by an estimated 118 million people worldwide in 2020, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, jumping to 768 million people — the most going at least as far back as 2006. The number of people living with food insecurity — or those forced to compromise on food quantity or quality — surged by 318 million, to 2.38 billion. In North America and Europe, formal employment, social safety nets and the widespread availability of remote work cushioned the blow. In those parts of the world, the percentage of people living with food insecurity edged up from 7.7 percent to 8.8 percent. But the developing world, home to billions of informal workers and gaps in government assistance, fared far worse. Latin America and the Caribbean saw the biggest one-year spike in food insecurity: a jump of nine percentage points, to 40.9 percent. “Governments need to open their eyes and adjust their thinking in a crisis, and in some cases, like Peru, they just didn’t,” said Torero of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. “They had the money available to deal with the problem. But they imposed restrictions on movement blindly and did not find a way to help the people who needed it.”
Note: The tragic increase of hunger and starvation worldwide is not a result of the pandemic, but rather of the lockdown in response to the pandemic. Why is that not even mentioned in this article? Many millions have died of starvation and suicide as a result of the lockdowns, yet so few care or are even aware of this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
Did you make it to the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho this past week? The investment bank sponsors the annual schmooze-fest and "summer camp for billionaires" for the same reason that companies give away their luxury products in Oscars gift baskets: because if you spoil rich people enough, they may develop sufficiently warm feelings towards you to throw you some business one day. At Sun Valley each year, the billionaires are feted by the mere millionaires; the millionaires drum up enough deals to allow them to buy their third and fourth homes. The Sun Valley conference is primarily known as a place where tech and media moguls gather to do a little fly fishing and strike multibillion-dollar merger deals. More fundamentally, the conference is, like Davos, a mechanism for the concentration of wealth, dressed up as something friendlier. Here, America's wealthiest mega-billionaires gather with the chief executive of America's most powerful companies, the director of the CIA, and America's most worthless pseudo-journalists ... to develop the social and business connections that allow the top 0.00001% of earners to continue to accumulate a share of our nation's wealth that already exceeds the famously cartoonish inequality of the Gilded Age of Rockefeller and Carnegie. We are developing a private class of billionaire kings whose will is omnipotent and untouchable by any democratic force. This is the state of affairs that the Sun Valley conference serves to intensify.
The wealth of the richest 0.00001% of the U.S. now exceeds that of the prior historical peak, which occurred in the Gilded Age, according to economist Gabriel Zucman. In the late 19th century, the U.S. experienced rapid industrialization and economic growth, creating an inordinate amount of wealth for a handful of families. This era was also known for its severe inequality; and some have called the period that began around 1990 a “Second Gilded Age.” Back then, just four families represented the richest 0.00001% – today’s equivalent is 18 families. Zucman, a French economist whose doctoral advisor was the historical economist Thomas Piketty, author of bestseller “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” released data this week showing that as of July 1, the top 0.00001% richest people in the U.S. held 1.35% of the country’s total wealth. These 18 families include those of Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. The richest 0.01% — around 18,000 U.S. families — have also surpassed the wealth levels reached in the Gilded Age. These families hold 10% of the country’s wealth today, Zucman wrote. By comparison, in 1913, the top 0.01% held 9% of U.S. wealth, and a mere 2% in the late 1970s. The increasing concentration of wealth comes as the ultra-rich face more scrutiny for the money they’re not paying in taxes. Recent reports have highlighted that because so much of their wealth consists of unrealized gains in stocks and real estate, they pay little or nothing in income tax.
Welcome to what's known as "summer camp for billionaires." This week, the top executives at the biggest and most influential companies in tech and media, including Apple's Tim Cook and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, will get together at the Sun Valley Resort. These top moguls are traveling again to Sun Valley for an annual weeklong gathering organized by a boutique investment firm called Allen & Company that is known as intensely private. This week, the aggregate wealth of the men and women staying at the Sun Valley Resort is likely to reach more than $1 trillion. "It really is elitism on full display," says media analyst Colin Gillis. "But actually, it's a very private event; so, I shouldn't say 'on full display.'" Prominent politicians – including heads of state – give talks and take questions. Mike Pompeo attended when he was the head of the C.I.A., and Mauricio Macri was a guest when he was the president of Argentina. Then, at night, there are cocktail parties and lavish dinners. Among Allen & Co.'s deal makers are prominent former members of Congress, including Rep. Will Hurd and Sen. Bill Bradley, and George Tenet, the former director of the C.I.A.. The gathering is geared towards ... building relationships that may one day pay off. Bezos reportedly decided to buy "The Washington Post" when he was in Sun Valley. "They've organized the biggest matchmaking service for media companies," says Steven Davidoff Solomon, the head of the Berkeley Center for Law and Business.
This month, ProPublica revealed that American billionaires essentially do not pay taxes, and within hours the White House had awkwardly promised no fewer than four federal investigations into the identity of the individual who had alerted the news organization to this fact. By Thursday, a North Carolina congressman was demanding the FBI director explain why he hadn’t made any arrests or at the very least, “executed any search warrants or raided any offices” in the international manhunt for the leaker. ProPublica carefully chose the six billionaires whose tax returns it chose to single out for specific scrutiny. But ProPublica seems to have deliberately underthrown. After breathlessly informing readers they possessed a “trove” of 15 years’ worth of tax returns on literally “thousands” of the world’s richest people, the story’s three authors proceeded to weave a few juicy and non-contextualized facts into a narrative that felt like a protracted sidebar to the “real” story. We learned that the 25 richest billionaires in America added $401bn to their net worths between 2014 and 2018 and paid about 3% of that amount in taxes, but we didn’t learn much about any specific billionaire’s tax avoidance strategies. Fifteen years of tax return information on thousands of American plutocrats is, to be sure, one of the biggest stories of the decade. It’s just not clear ProPublica has that much appetite for sticking with the story.
Note: In the US, former tax lobbyists often write the rules on tax dodging. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
More than five million people became millionaires across the world in 2020 despite economic damage from the Covid-19 pandemic. While many poor people became poorer, the number of millionaires increased by 5.2 million to 56.1 million globally, Credit Suisse research found. In 2020, more than 1% of adults worldwide were millionaires for the first time. Wealth creation appeared to be "completely detached" from the economic woes of the pandemic. The number of ultra-high net worth individuals, usually defined as those having investable assets of more than $30m, grew by 24% worldwide in 2020, the fastest rate of increase since 2003. Credit Suisse said its total of the number of millionaires might be higher than other organizations' estimates because it included both investable and non-investable assets, such as owner-occupied homes. [Economist] Anthony Shorrocks ... said the pandemic had an "acute short-term impact on global markets", but added this was "largely reversed by the end of June 2020". "Global wealth not only held steady in the face of such turmoil, but in fact rapidly increased in the second half of the year," he said. However, wealth differences between adults widened in 2020, and Mr Shorrocks said if asset price increases, such as house price rises, were removed from the analysis, "then global household wealth may well have fallen". "In the lower wealth bands where financial assets are less prevalent, wealth has tended to stand still, or, in many cases, regressed," he said.
ProPublica cracked open the vault on America’s biggest tax grifters, revealing how the Midas men dip, dodge and duck, paying pennies on the dollar, if that, while we suckers have to pony up. How rich. “In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes,” ProPublica reported. “He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes. “Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.” “Taken together,” ProPublica concluded, “it demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most. The I.R.S. records show that the wealthiest can — perfectly legally — pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year.” ProPublica shed light on the fact that “the superrich earn virtually all their wealth from the constantly rising value of their assets, particularly in the stock market, and that the sales of those assets are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income from a paycheck.” And while the value of those assets grows by the billion, untaxed, these rich folks can borrow against them.
The wealthiest Americans — including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos — paid little in federal income taxes at times in recent years despite soaring fortunes, according to Internal Revenue Service data obtained by ProPublica. The information published Tuesday shows how billionaires are able to legally reduce their tax burden, highlighting how the American tax system can hit ordinary wage earners harder than the richest people in the country. That’s often because the richest Americans tend to have their wealth tied up in stocks and real estate, allowing them to avoid taxes on unrealized profits. The U.S. tax system focuses on income, not what is known as unrealized gains from unsold stocks, real estate or other assets. The records ... purport to show Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, as having paid $23.7 million in federal income taxes on total income of $125 million from 2014 to 2018, which would indicate a personal income tax rate of 19 percent. ProPublica estimated that Buffett saw his wealth soar by $24.3 billion during that period and so his “true tax rate” was 0.10 percent. Musk, chief executive of Tesla, paid $455 million on $1.52 billion in income during the same period, when his wealth grew by $13.9 billion, accounting for a “true tax rate” of 3.27 percent. Bezos, chief executive of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, paid $973 million in taxes on $4.22 billion in income, as his wealth soared by $99 billion, resulting in a 0.98 percent “true tax rate.”
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