Super Simple Job-Killing Calculator: Part Deux

Revisiting an old formula in the time of the COVID economy

Back in 2012, in “Super Simple Job-Killing Calculator”, I proposed that just about anyone making a tremendous profit does so by causing someone else to lose their job. THE FORMULA for the USA was:


From time to time I like to test the formula to see if it still holds. This pandemic provides such a test.

According to Forbes, US Billionaires have gotten $584 Billion richer during the pandemic. THE FORMULA says this should correspond with ($584B/$60K=) about 9.7 million jobs lost. Instead, about 45 million jobs have been lost, which is 4.6X higher than THE FORMULA predicts just based on billionaire gains. Maybe if you consider the additional gains by mere millionaires THE FORMULA still works. Maybe the jobs lost tend to be lower-than-average-paid positions. Maybe some will get their jobs back. Maybe the billionaires haven’t finished gaining. Maybe, just maybe, THE FORMULA is inexact—but THE FORMULA is still in the right ballpark.