“Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented the country’s leading companies with a historic opportunity to reverse the decades-long trends of widening inequality and shareholder primacy, making change for workers seem possible.” Brookings looked at the top 22 companies that employ frontline workers to see how they did. Profits and the pandemic: As shareholder wealth soared, workers were left behind. “Far from curbing inequality, the modest gains to workers were dwarfed by the gains to already wealthy shareholders, including executives and billionaires. The 22 companies’ shareholders grew $1.5 trillion richer, while their 7 million workers (more than half of whom are nonwhite) received $27 billion in additional pay—less than 2% of shareholders’ gains. At seven of these companies, the wealth of 13 billionaire founders and heirs alone would have grown by nearly $160 billion since the start of the pandemic—more than 12 times all extra pay to the 3.4 million U.S. workers those companies employed.”