Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), delivered a powerful speech to the Senate floor on Wednesday. He criticized billionaires and CEOs who have amassed unfathomable wealth while millions of Americans struggle for survival.
Since the start of the pandemic, millions of Americans have struggled economically, gotten ill or died – but for billionaires, “this moment has never been better,” Sanders said. Due to their rapid accumulations of wealth, the country is rapidly becoming an oligarchy.
“In the 1950s, when I was growing up, CEOs did very, very well. They made 20x more than the average worker. Well, if you are a CEO, the good news is those days are long gone, when you only made 20 times more than your average workers,” Sanders said. “Today, as I am sure the CEOs of this country know, they are now making 350 times more than what the average worker in America makes. Three hundred and fifty more. Talk about greed.”
Grocers are a good choice. Like KrogerAnd Oil and gas companies like Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil have jacked up prices for consumers, they’re also making record profits and spending billions on stock buybacks, Sanders pointed out. And the U.S. pays for the The highest prices anywhere in the worldHe continued that prescription drugs were the most lucrative market and the CEOs of eight top pharmaceutical companies were paid more than $350 million in 2020 compensation.
Wall Street continues to have a significant influence on the country’s economy. Finance giants BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street manage over $21 trillion in assets – which is larger than the GDP of the U.S., the largest economy in the world.
Sanders noted that billionaires and CEOs currently hold a greater share of the wealth in America than at any other time in history.
“We hear a lot of talk about transfer of wealth – ‘oh my god, we can’t tax the rich and transfer wealth. Terrible, terrible,’” he said, mocking lawmakers People who refuse to raise taxeson corporations and the rich. “But there has been, over the last many decades, a huge transfer of wealth. The only problem is, it’s gone in the wrong direction – from working families to the top 1 percent.”
The United States has a high concentration of wealth. The richest 1 percent of Americans are the most wealthy More wealth than the bottom 92 percent of earners, Sanders said, while the two richest people in the U.S. – Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk – own more wealth than the bottom 42 percent of the population. Indeed, A January reportThe pandemic has led to the discovery that, while COVID has claimed the lives of millions, the 20 wealthiest men in the world increased their wealth by more than two-thirds.
The Vermont senator joked that the Senate should honor billionaires the same way it honors athletes like Tom Brady and Olympic football players for their achievements. “Maybe the time is approaching when we should offer a unanimous resolution congratulating the billionaire class for their enormous success in moving this country into the oligarchic form of society that they have long desired,” he said.
The lawmaker concluded by saying that Congress should start voting on individual issues that are popular among the American people, like lower prescription drug prices, expanding Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing, or putting taxes on corporations and the wealthy so they pay their “fair share.”
“The time is long, long, long overdue for Congress to start addressing the needs of the American people,” he said. “Maybe, just maybe, we should do what the American people want, and not what wealthy campaign contributors want.”