Elon Musk reclaimed the title of world’s richest person on Monday, overtaking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who had held the top spot since October 2017. Musk’s net worth surged to $199.9 billion after Tesla’s shares rose by more than 6% on Monday, boosting his wealth by $7.8 billion.
Musk’s journey to the top of the rich list has been fueled by a series of successful business ventures, including Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company. Tesla, in particular, has been a key contributor to Musk’s wealth, with the electric vehicle maker’s stock price increasing by more than 700% in 2020 alone.
Despite this, Musk has been known to downplay his wealth, stating that his primary motivation is to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy. He has also been a vocal critic of the billionaire class, calling for a more equitable distribution of wealth and advocating for a global wealth tax.
While Musk’s ascent to the top of the rich list is undoubtedly impressive, his reign may be short-lived. French billionaire Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, has also seen his net worth surge in recent months, thanks to a rebound in the luxury market. Arnault’s net worth currently stands at $199.3 billion, placing him just behind Musk.
The competition between Musk and Arnault highlights the growing wealth gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of society. In the United States alone, the top 0.1% of households hold roughly the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90%. This concentration of wealth has led to calls for increased taxation of the wealthy, with some arguing that billionaires like Musk and Arnault should be taxed at higher rates to fund social programs and address income inequality.
Despite these concerns, the tech industry continues to be a major driver of wealth creation, with many of the world’s richest people hailing from the sector. As innovation and entrepreneurship continue to fuel the global economy, the question of how to address the growing wealth gap remains a pressing issue for policymakers and society as a whole.