Billionaires profit from & perpetuate the wealth inequality crisis

Nicolas Stevens

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The existence of billionaires has been a rather hot topic amongst the 2020 democratic candidates, which is a good thing. I’m glad the topic of wealth distribution is so readily talked about, to the point where even more conservative democratic candidates like Elizabeth Warren are proposing new tax bills that apply to billionaires, because they truly should not exist. 

There will always be wealth inequality in our society, as it would be very hard to implement a system where there isn’t wealth inequality. But, letting it get to the point where there are over 550,000 people experiencing homelessness in America, and over 12% of Americans living in poverty, is absurd. 

Also, the fact that there are almost 600 billionaires in America is equally absurd. Access to food, housing and medical care is by all means a human right. This human right could easily be attained if the billionaire class was taxed correctly according to their incredible wealth. It wouldn’t make them poor, it wouldn’t make them go into debt it struggle, it would just make them less rich, and help out those who can’t even pay for basic necessities.

One of the biggest arguments made in support of billionaires is that they’re just people who “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps with a great idea.” 

That may have been true at first but to attain such wealth goes far beyond determination and clever marketing. If this were the case, that means approximately .000002% of Americans were able to “pull themselves up from their bootstraps.” 

The billionaire class profits from the direct exploitation of minimum wage workers. The Amazon warehouses are probably the best, and most relevant example of this. The conditions are terrible, workers are often worked to exhaustion, and get paid minimum wage. 

Another example of this is Whole Foods, which is an Amazon owned company. Whole Foods is cutting health benefits to their part time workers. This change is coming in January and will affect nearly 2,000 employees. The reason for this is “To better meet the needs of our and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model,” according to a USA Today article.

The fact that so many people in America and around the world are living in squalor that could easily be helped is proof enough that billionaires should not exist. And, moreover, that we need to take a serious look at the wealth inequality crisis.

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