Background Briefing: October 20, 2020


As Americans Suffer the Pandemic Billionaires’ Wealth Increases by $931 Billion

We begin with a new study that finds while during the pandemic 62 million American lost work and 8 million slipped into poverty as 98,000 businesses closed and 12 million lost employer-based health insurance and 22 million reported not having enough food for themselves and 14 million children, the collective wealth of America’s billionaires jumped by $931 billion. Frank Clemente, the Executive Director and co-founder of Americans for Tax Fairness joins us to discuss his new study “Since Pandemic Began U.S. Billionaires’ Net Worth Jumped $931 Billion, Or Nearly One Third, As Workers Families Suffered.”  We examine what is driving this concentration of wealth in which Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’s fortune went up since March 79.8% from $113 billion to $203 billion and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune grew 85.1% from $54.7 billion to $101.2 billion.


China Wants Trump, The Gift That Keeps On Giving, Reelected

Then we look into the China-bashing the Trump campaign is engaged in and assess the claim by Trump’s DNI that China wants Biden elected when it is clear from Chinese Communist Party leaders and their press and online discussions that many see Trump as the gift that keeps on giving as he weakens America and its alliances around the world. Andrew Nathan, Professor Political Science at Columbia University who studies Chinese politics and Foreign Policy and is the author of China’s Transition; The Tiananmen Papers, joins us to discuss the sad truth behind Trump’s tough talk. 


Today’s First Blow Against Monopoly Power

Then finally we speak with Barry Lynn, the Executive Director of the Open Markets Institute who has been researching and writing about monopoly power for 15 years about today’s announcement by the DOJ that it is suing Google accusing the tech giant of illegally protecting its monopoly over search and search advertising. The author of the new book, just out, Liberty from All Masters: The New American Autocracy vs. the Will of the People, he joins us to celebrate the opening salvo against monopolies and the beginning of antitrust enforcement.