The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Waltz of the Billionaires

May 4, 2020

Amidst pandemic, economic collapse and vast unemployment, the rich are getting richer.

Jeff Bezos, who heads Amazon, just gained 24 billion dollars and is now worth 139 billion. His competitors, Alice, Jim and Rob Walton, the world’s richest family, who own WalMart, have seen their combined fortunes hit 170 billion dollars. And Elon Musk, the celebrity billionaire who is CEO of Tesla, has added 10 billion dollars to his stash since the world plunged into crisis.

Wild swings in the stock market have led to wild speculation. Randall Weisenburger, a board member of Carnival Cruise Lines, bought 10 million dollars of his own company stock, just before maneuvers in the market caused it to jump 60%! Big banks like UBS are seeking ultra-wealthy clients, to loan them massive amounts of money for placing bets in what they call a “cheap market.”

Of course, there have also been some big losers, like speculators in the oil and gas industries, who have been hammered by the collapse in oil prices. But not to worry—they’re first in line for a bailout from the U.S. government and Federal Reserve.

There may be a crisis that has already thrown nearly 40 million people out of work. But for the capitalist class, crisis can be an even bigger chance to make money. This is how their system works. It’s a really rotten system.