While the economic consequences of the pandemic tolls are not yet foreseeable, some players have earned considerable sums of money. This raises questions of justice
In medicine they say that the therapy must not be more harmful than the disease. If one applies this to the worldwide measures to contain the corona virus, one would have to speak of one of the grossest mistakes in history. The indirect collateral damage of the therapy is in no relation to the damage caused by the virus itself.
In my book "black book corona. Intermediate balance of avoidable harm and tolerated sacrifice" i show, with numerous examples and studies, the damage that the corona policy has caused and continues to cause. Damages that are more unevenly distributed than in any previous catastrophe and that will permanently change our societies. An excerpt.
Online trade has made an unparalleled triumph and is one of the gross winners of the decrease crisis. While brick-and-mortar retail is slowly dying, internet and mail-order retail reported a sales increase of a proud 42.9 percent in may 2021 compared to the same month last year. And here, too, it is above all the oligopolists, mostly from the usa, who are dividing up the market among themselves.
Available everywhere in stores or from the bookcomplices: jens berger, "black book corona. Interim balance of preventable damage and tolerated casualties", westend publishing house, 28.6.2021
Market leader amazon, for example, increased its revenue by 44 percent, achieving record sales of $108.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, while more than doubling its profit to $8.1 billion.
Amazon ceo jeff bezos nevertheless spoke of "the hardest time we ever had". By this he meant the problems of fulfilling all orders at all. That’s complaining on a damn high level. By the way, jeff bezos himself has become richer by 76.3 billion us dollars due to the crisis. His current net worth is a staggering 189.3 billion us dollars.
More money than smaug and scrooge mcduck
A little fun fact on the side: the magazine forbes runs the dragon smaug, who guards an entire mountain of gold in tolkien’s hobbit saga, as the second richest fictional character with $51.4 billion in personal wealth – just behind scrooge mcduck, by the way. The increase in jeff bezos’ assets during the pandemic is thus greater than the value of the tons of gold on which tolkien’s dragon is perched. Sometimes such amusing, but figurative comparisons help to imagine the sums we are talking about here.
But bezos is not the only crisis winner. Many large companies, and especially their owners, have benefited from the lockdown crisis, even to a large extent, in contrast to small and medium-sized companies. A look at the world’s leading stock indices shows the extent to which the major corporations and their owners have increased in value: from 18. March 2020 to 12. April 2021, the net worth of u.S. Billionaires has increased by more than $1.6 trillion, from $2.95 trillion to 4.56 trillion us dollars increased.
The increase during the pandemic in itself is equivalent to about 2.000 euro for every single person on our blue planet – from a sucker in kigali to an old woman in osaka.
In germany, too, the billionaires are among the big winners of the crisis. According to research by author julia friedrichs, the 190 german dollar billionaires were able to increase their net worth by nearly $100 billion again during the pandemic – that is, nearly $500 million for every german billionaire. One had to ask: crisis? What crisis? Or one could cynically say: the money is not gone, it just belongs to someone else now.
The obvious idea was to make the winners of the crisis pay for the costs of the crisis, i.E. To reverse all or part of the de facto redistribution from the bottom to the top "amazingly" but so far no well-known politician.
The 1.3 trillion euro bill is coming
If you add up all the state aid money and the guarantees provided mostly for large corporations, and add to that the loss of revenue from lower taxes and the necessary contributions to the social security funds emptied by short-time working and unemployment benefits, you arrive at a maximum financing framework of 1.3 trillion euros. This was the result of a small inquiry by the left-wing parliamentary group at the federal ministry of finance.
Even if one is optimistic and ames that only ten percent of the guarantees will be called in, for which the taxpayer will then have to pay, one still arrives at a sum of more than 550 billion euros, i.E. 13 billion euros.750 euros per household. And since finance minister olaf scholz has already announced his intention to return to the policy of a black zero from 2024 onwards and to cut the "corona debt" this also means that the taxpayer will have to pay back this sum in the coming decades.
Without tax increases, this means that the state will have even less money available for spending and investment – even less money for schools and hospitals, even less money for education and social spending. These will also be indirect consequences of the measures imposed during the corona pandemic. And again, the vast majority of lockdown advocates don’t seem to be fully aware of this yet either.