Public housing tower in North Melbourne (Image: AAP/James Ross)

On March 2, when we were still awakening to COVID-19, I suggested that the world’s response to the novel coronavirus was an extreme example of a transfer of wealth from the young to the old.

Back then China was part-way through its brutal lockdown of Wuhan; the Diamond Princess had become a floating prison; and the elderly were being hit hard in Italy. Much of the world was still largely blissful in ignorance.

Eight months later and most of the world has in some way locked down their populations for a period of time. As millions of people around the world lost their jobs, billionaires increased their wealth by 27.5% between April and July. The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, increased his wealth by a staggering US$74 billion, helped in part by governments forcing Amazon’s competitors to close.