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Although millions of people are out of jobs and without relief because of the pandemic, billionaires have still managed to get richer. This problem has gone on for far too long, and without proper government regulation, wealth inequality will only worsen. Too many working-class citizens are slipping into poverty while individuals, such as Jeff Bezos, amass wealth to the point that they can end world hunger twice over. No sole person should have that much money and get away with it. Billionaires need to be held accountable when it comes to redistributing their wealth, and the solution lies within government regulation on donations and taxes.

Trusting the rich to hold themselves accountable to redistribute wealth is useless without the government stepping in. The top 1% is too greedy for the general public to trust that they will be responsible without regulation imposed on them. Most importantly, big corporate CEOs should not be accumulating massive amounts of wealth while their employees suffer during the pandemic. Corporate giants such as Amazon have gone unchecked, and their employees are paying the price while CEO Jeff Bezos is on track to become a trillionaire at the expense of their labor. Because of this, it has become increasingly important that corporations and their billionaire leaders have strict regulations imposed on them so that they give back to society in a more positive way instead of contributing crumbs. 

Of course, there is often the proposed solution of putting a cap on how much these billionaires make; however, there is no substantial justification for an individual to stop making money even with a limit. The rich would surely fight back and say that their rights are being violated. Nevertheless, they cannot remain safe from government regulation. Billionaires have had it too easy when it comes to distributing their wealth in a way that is barely effective. For instance, most of them attempt to donate to charities so that they can escape paying higher taxes. All of this takes place while everyday people struggle to put food on the table and try to keep up with the same taxes they do not have the luxury to avoid. 

Although some people may see charitable donations as adequate redistribution of wealth, realistically, it is still not enough. Billionaires and mega-philanthropists are trying to cheat the tax system, which ultimately hurts the rest of the nation. Without their tax money, important community necessities, such as education and infrastructure, remain greatly underfunded, which only widens the gap between the rich and poor. If billionaires do not take on the responsibility of redistributing the wealth they accumulate, people in struggling communities will never be able to break out of poverty. There is simply no reason that one person should amass most of the nation’s wealth and hoard it for themselves. At that point, it is truly sinister to knowingly withhold that much wealth when they have the power to address issues such as homelessness and food insecurity. 

There need to be real consequences for the top 1% because they are living in a completely different reality than the rest of the nation. It is not ethical to have hard-working people decide between putting food on the table or paying rent when billionaires have the power to remedy this issue and still have money left over. In order for effective regulation to be imposed on the top 1%, the government needs to play a stronger role in making sure their wealth trickles back into society for the greater good. Primarily, the government and general public need to stop having the fear of upsetting the rich and realize how much power they have in making them submit to the needs of their workers. The country needs to be more extreme and passionate about raising taxes for the wealthy. 

First and foremost, there should not be loopholes for the wealthy to utilize so that they do not have to pay as much taxes as everyone else. Donations are supposed to be selfless acts to help society and not huge tax write-offs. Therefore, taxation for the rich needs to be unavoidable, and donations need to be ignored. Although it is impossible for wealth inequality to completely disappear under a capitalist system, solutions can still be imposed, such as taxes being substantially raised for the wealthy. Otherwise, it would be completely irresponsible on the government’s part to allow these people to have so much wealth and influence over the country. The irrational fear of the rich needs to dissipate if we are to ever completely hold them accountable and make them pay their fair share. 

No matter what, billionaires today should not be getting richer while the everyday person suffers, especially during a global pandemic. In order to address the growing issue of inequity and wealth inequality, the government needs to step in and regulate the top 1%. The rich do not deserve a free pass with taxation, and we need to stop making them feel like they have the freedom to live luxurious lifestyles at the expense of the working class. 


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    The Highlander editorials reflect the majority view of the Highlander Editorial Board. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Associated Students of UCR or the University of California system.