Illustration by Jean Pierre Le Roux

How America’s Ultrawealthy Won the Pandemic

Deadly viruses don’t much care what’s in your wallet, but socioeconomic privilege and access to wealth do wonders when it comes to not just surviving a plague but cashing in on it. Having spent more than a year pre-COVID working on a new nonfiction book about the absurdity of wealth in America during this second Gilded Age, I figured the pandemic would throw a wrench into my story. Yet perhaps unsurprisingly, over the past year, the superrich have remained safely ensconced on their side of an economic chasm that just keeps widening as investment profits flow to the very top while America’s less fortunate struggle just to get by. I put together these stats to demonstrate the degree to which our most privileged citizens have benefitted, often at the expense of the rest of us. [Read more.]

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