America’s super-rich just got a whole lot richer amid the pandemic.
25 of the wealthiest people on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires have gained nearly $255 billion dollars in the last two months — when all over the world millions of people have lost their jobs and many small business owners have closed shop.
Among the 1 percent Facebook and Amazon generated the most money — with Facebook shares jumping to a record high of 60 percent.
Its first-quarter revenue reaching $17.7 billion.
Amazon’s first-quarter revenue was a whopping $75 billion.
With many of these profitable tech companies operating out the San Francisco Bay Area, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said they can do more to help the state’s residents.
Canepa recently sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom to urge him to implement a pandemic tech tax to offset the devastation the COVID-19 crisis has had on California’s economy.
“What I’m proposing is real simple. It’s what’s being done in Alaska and it’s basically called the data dividend. So all these companies are allowed to use our data but they don’t pay us. And so what we would ask for there’s two solutions. One: once they collect this data either the state can collect it or distribute it. Or we could distribute those funds and give them directly to residents.”
Canepa said it’s time tech giants like Amazon and Facebook share the wealth with California’s working poor.
He said they could very well afford it, especially when they pay so little in federal income taxes.
For example, according to Yahoo Finance, Amazon only paid a 1.2 percent tax rate — or only $162-million on more than $13-billion — in profit last year.
In 2018 – on more than $11 billion in profits, Amazon even ended up paying zero dollars under the Trump tax era law – that’s also given the same relief to 60 fortune 500 companies.
“Because of the federal government and because of the tax structure that’s put into place they have attorneys who are able to avoid tax, obviously they fall in within their rights and within the law, but they basically pay zero tax and so we are asking them to step up and help us out in this pandemic.”
Canepa said his plan will only serve as a temporary tax.
“Until we are fully done and completed with this pandemic, when it’s over. And some people say well that could be a couple years well if it’s a couple years then it’s a couple years, others say it could be December or January. But we are living in one of the most uncertain times ever and so we need help.”
The U.S. jobless rate reached 14.7 percent in April, the highest level since the Great Depression.
Many experts believe the number will grow to almost 20 percent by May.
About 41 million people have now applied for unemployment benefits in America.