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How the Far Left Fails Basic Math

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How the Far Left Fails Basic Math

National Review Online September 4, 2020
EconomicsIncome Inequality

No, the wealthy cannot finance socialism.

The posts are a staple of liberal social media: Attacking the greedy billionaire who could “easily” give everyone $1 million.

Jeff Bezos could give every single American $3 million and he’d still have $188.8 billion.” “Imagine if @JeffBezos decided to give $1,000,000 to each of those 33 million out of work. It’s pocket change It is not just random social-media postings. In March, MSNBC’s Brian Williams went on the air and endorsed a tweet that stated: “Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. U.S. Population, 327 million . . . He could have given each American $1 million.” His guest, New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, concurred that “It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true. It’s disturbing.”

It is not true. Instead it is a spectacular failure of arithmetic. Michael Bloomberg’s $500 million in ad purchases could have otherwise given each American $1.52 — not $1 million. And dividing Jeff Bezos’s $200 billion in wealth equally among 330 million Americans would provide $600 each, not $1 million or $3 million.

Additionally, 260,000 people “liked” a tweet condemning how “Jeff Bezos is about to become the world’s first trillionaire” (he has $800 billion to go).

Read the entire piece on National Review Online.

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Brian M. Riedl is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of the recent issue brief, Coronavirus Budget Projections: Escalating Deficits and Debt. Follow him on Twitter here.

Photo by David Ryder/Stringer/Getty Images

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