Jeff Bezos net worth crossed the $200 billion mark yesterday (26 August) as a result of his majority stake in internet shopping company Amazon increasing share price, according to Forbes. Bezos the CEO and founder of Amazon is now the richest person in the world with a net worth of $204.6 billion. The second richest person in the world is Bill Gates with a net worth $116.2 billion, who is a whole $88.4 billion behind Bezos.
Amazon is one of the many internet companies which benefited strongly from the global COVID-19 Pandemic and is still expected to reach new highs as the stock price is likely to increase. Bezos who owns an 11.1% stake in Amazon could still reach an even higher net worth as Amazon expands further into new territories and new markets. Amazon is now said to be worth $1.7 trillion, the second most valuable company in the world only second to Apple.
Jeff Bezos also owns a news media company the Washington Post and Blue Origins which is dedicated itself to building a habitat and human civilization in space. Bezos’s net worth would have been even higher if it wasn’t for a divorce from ex-wife Mackenzie Scott (finalized July 2019), with a divorce settlement of $38 Billion. Mackenzie net worth has also seen a considerate increase as a result of stock prices reaching new highs moving her net worth to $66 Billion, ranking her the 13th richest person in the world and at the moment the richest woman alive.
Bezos and Gates are not the only billionaires to reach a new net worth, as of Wednesday 3rd place belong to Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg who is now worth $109.1 billion. 4th is also Tesla Motors and SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk worth $96 billion, and in 5th place is Bernard Arnault the chairman and CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton with a net worth of $82.4 billion.
Each of their net worth’s could still fall or rise depending on stock market prices and company valuations, which means their rankings could change as well. The massive increase in wealth by a number of tech giants and other billionaires during the COVID-19 pandemic has lodged many complaints on social media on issues of income inequality. Jeff Bezos business practices have also come in to question, as many people say his making billions by exploiting he’s underpaid Amazon workers.
As the wealthy get richer while the average person suffers from pandemic lockdown measures by losing income, loss of jobs or find it difficult to find adequate employment options or even jobs willing to pay decent wages, these questions of income inequality will persist and people will eventually stop looking at elected officials for answers.
As the world’s various billionaires become richer, they become more powerful and influential than the average politician, which could lead many to doubt the effectiveness of democracy, fairness as well as the free-market capitalist system.