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Survey of the 50 richest Americans – pandemic is testing the generosity of billionaires

Washington Post – “America’s love-hate affair with billionaires took an uncomfortable twist this spring: As the coronavirus spread across the country, both fans and critics wondered what these titans of capitalism would do to address this devastating health and economic crisis. The answer so far: Not much, when accounting for their vast personal fortunes. A Washington Post survey of the nation’s 50 wealthiest people and families, who have a collective net worth of nearly $1.6 trillion, found that their publicly announced donations amount to about $1 billion, which sounds like a lot of money but adds up to less than .1 percent of their combined wealth. More than half of these billionaires have publicly donated cash and a few say they have given something — money or in-kind contributions — but declined to specify how much. But almost a third have not announced any donations and declined to comment or did not reply to requests for comment.

And even many of the billionaires who have announced donations to covid-19 relief efforts have given amounts that are relatively paltry when compared to the median net worth of an American household, which registers at $97,300, a number that accounts for a family’s assets and subtracting debts, according to the federal Survey of Consumer Finances. To put billionaires’ covid-19 giving in perspective, The Post used this figure to calculate what each of their donations would equate to for the median American donor…”

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