By Jack Kelly
Last week, 1.5 million Americans filed for jobless claims. This was the 13th consecutive week that the U.S. witnessed over one million in new claims. Roughly 45.7 million people have now filed for unemployment since mid-March.
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 18, 2020
Unfortunately, the frighteningly large numbers, along with other data, show that we’re still going through tough times. The first wave of Covid-19, entering into a new unknown phase, looks like we’ll face continued white-collar layoffs, pressure on middle management, pay cuts and wage deflation.
The vast majority of Americans have been badly burned by the Covid-19 breakout. There’s one small group that’s doing just fine and dandy. The billionaires are banging, being even more billionairey than ever before.
“America’s billionaires saw their wealth increase by 20%, or $584 billion, roughly since the beginning of the pandemic,” according to a new study by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program on Inequality.
Interestingly, a lot of these billionaires went all in on the shutdown of businesses and ordering regular people to stay indoors. Meanwhile, they run companies or have investments in businesses that make gobs of money online. They’ve made out like bandits, as all of their competitors were forced to close their doors.
Bill Gates, former founder and CEO of Microsoft, was a leading proponent of the shut down and saw his net worth pop from $98 billion in March to about $109 billion in June. An 11-plus percentage-point growth—$11 billion—in three months is pretty nice. In full disclosure, my MSFT stock has done real well.
Mr. Amazon—Jeff Bezos—saw his March net worth of $113 billion boom by about 38% in three months to $157 billion in June. This happens when you own the largest online store that’s allowed to remain open while your rivals are slowly screwed to death by petty political bureaucrats deeming them non-essential, which means they couldn’t stay open and most won’t stay alive much longer.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went from $55 billion in March to almost $87 billion in June. Warren Buffett, the godfather of investing, was unusually cautious in his investing approach during the pandemic and, therefore, only went from $68 billion to $72 billion.
Here’s a commercial break. I saw this on Twitter and I’m not sure if it’s real or not. Either way, it’s awesome.
This is quite possibly the greatest commercial I’ve ever seen… pic.twitter.com/t3oxiJrUr3
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 17, 2020
Forget about the coronavirus. What’s really spreading is the Blue Flu and the police are catching it. Especially hard hit with the Blue Flu is Hotlanta. Police officers called out sick and haven’t shown up for work. This is in response to the murder charges filed against the police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. announced 11 charges against fired former officer Garrett Rolfe, including felony murder, which could lead to the death penalty if he is convicted.
Vince Champion, southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, said that police officers had stopped answering calls mid-shift. “We are not answering 911 calls right now due to personnel issues,” a police dispatcher said Wednesday. After mass walkouts among members of the Atlanta police department, the mayor began requesting assistance. Officers in other jurisdictions refused to respond to any calls other than one for an officer down.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says morale in her city’s police department “is down ten-fold” amid reports officers are calling in sick tonight. “We expect our officers will keep their commitment to our communities,” Bottoms added.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says morale in her city’s police department “is down ten-fold” amid reports officers are calling in sick tonight.
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 18, 2020
With everything going on are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Has sheltering-in-place for months worn you down? Were you frantic and alarmed that you or a loved one would contract the coronavirus? Does the constant negativity coming from the mass media make you anxious and fearful? Did your heart break watching the killing of George Floyd, then seeing peaceful protests marred by violence and some strong-armed police tactics? Do you feel enraged that our politicians and leaders are incompetent, corrupt and don’t really care about you?
Unfortunately, these feelings are all too common today. We’re in unprecedented times that are volatile and frightening. There are over 40 million Americans out of work, businesses have been ordered to close and people are hurting, but the stock market is racing higher—making some rich people even wealthier. The disconnect is jarring.
You have a choice to make. You can let yourself get overwhelmed by what’s going on in the world or you can take action. If you wallow in misery, nothing will improve. The only real solution is to try and make the best life for yourself, despite everything that’s happening in our crazy world. You owe it to yourself to at least try to do your part to make things better. The first place to start is with yourself. Here’s what you can easily do right now to make a difference:
- -Turn off the television, put down your phone and go for a walk outside to clear your head.
- -Don’t worry about saving the world; fix your own life first.
- -Choose a direction and work like hell to achieve what you want for your career and life.
- -Stop hurting yourself by making poor food choices and consuming too much alcohol and drugs, spending all of your free time gaming, smoking weed, binge-watching Netflix and fighting with everyone around you and on social media.
- -At the very least, do some sit-ups, push-ups and ride your bike around town. You’ll feel physically, mentally and emotionally better.
- -Stop making excuses and take bold actions. Deep down, you know the life you really desire—go for it!
- -Don’t listen to the haters and never give up.
- -Replace so-called friends who purposely bring you down with smart, positive and empathetic people.
- -Don’t take what you have for granted, as there’s thousands of people who would love to have what you have.
- -You can’t compare yourself to others. It will only lead to jealousy and misery. Instead, compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
- -Talk—and complain—less and listen more to people.
- -Stop being so self-critical and start believing in yourself.
Many people will crack from the stress of the last four months, fall off the tracks and never recover. If you want to succeed, you must make the conscious decision that you will be different and do what it takes to live your best life—no matter what’s happening around you. Improve yourself first and get your own house in order. Once you’ve achieved that, then you are equipped to effectively care for others and effect meaningful change in the world.