“Extreme wealth inequality has become America’s pre-existing condition,” writes Chuck Collins in a new co-authored report from the Institute for Policy Studies, “Billionaire Bonanza 2020.” In the past six weeks, as a record 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment, the 630 billionaires of the United States have seen their shared wealth go up $406 billion—an almost 14% increase in wealth at the very top, while the rest of Americans suffer under a major public health and economic crisis.
For the first segment of today’s episode, Chuck Collins joins us to discuss the Billionaire Bonanza report and how inequality is accelerating under the pandemic.
Then, we talk to journalist Aaron Glantz about about the failure of Congress’s coronavirus relief package to make it to the states most hard-hit by COVID-19, how the pandemic is affecting renters and mortgage holders, and the vulture capitalists who have been running the show and lining their own pockets since the 2008 recession.
Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, where he directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good and co-edits Inequality.org. He is author of several books, including 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It (Berrett-Koehler, 2012), Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good (Chelsea Green, 2016), and Is Inequality in America Irreversible? (Polity, 2018).
Aaron Glantz is a senior reporter at Reveal and the author of the book Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream (Custom House, 2019). You can read his most recent reporting on Congress’s stimulus package, “Bailout money bypasses hard-hit New York, California for North Dakota, Nebraska,” here.