Friday, September 01, 2006
There are now 793 individuals on earth who have a billion or more each, for a combined total wealth of $2.6 trillion. American richies account for just under half of this amount, proving again that George Bush's policies are indeed working out very well (for oh... about half of 793 people...).
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are still number one and two, even after lumping about $65 billion together and putting it into the Gates Foundation. Bill is worth about $50 billion now and Warren a paltry $42 billion.
Proving that money doesn't only flow to those in wealthy neo-conservatively managed (former democratic society) nations... the youngest new billionaire is a Lebanese woman, 22-year-old Hind Hariri, who inherited $1.4bn from her assassinated father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. I hope she wasn't vacationing in South Lebanon in July.
About a billion of us live in abject poverty, including a greater number of Americans every year.
I wouldn't want to make a judgement here - I will only say that a free market, based on exploitation of natural resources and poor workers, supported by tight military and corporate security systems, linked to an erosion of human rights and a distinct decline in intelligent discourse - seems to be working very well.
What do you think?
(now, a reverse dictionary, wouldn't that be a money spinner?!)
yes, well what can you do? i guess there was no limitation switch on the survival gene - another indictment of intelligent design. ;o)
If there is 793 people with $2.6 trillion (trillion?) assets, could we theoretically make every citizen of this planet a millionaire ... or at least stinky wealthy if those funds would be distributed differently?
But the greatest trap of all is the lack of sustainability accounting. Standards need to be laid down for carbon tax trading to eventually eliminate emissions and pollutions. And to be sustainable on planet earth.
Sustainable competition will provide a more even and fairer distribution of resources.
It requires a lot of imagination and intellectual effort, most difficult for all those busy hard working newly created billionaires!!
After all they may only be good at one thing that is making money!!
Zee and Ian - about a billion people live on less than $1 a day - maybe the math works better by figuring out what it would take to provide them with a different life. Interesting...
Miss Cellania - I've reviewed the money=happiness studies (from a health outcome point of view too). You're right - it always comes down to happiness is hard to have without some level of security and affluence...but after that, the curve is very slow at best. I am certain that right now there are far too many people with 'more money than they know what to do with' - I'm serious. There are people in this part of the world building 12,000 sq. foot recreation homes - for 2 people.
a very informative post.
I live in the city that has more than 40 of them according to the last survey. I wonder though how do they travel in this city as to reach anywhere in time you must park your limousine and take the metro. I guess a middle path must be worked out to ensure the prosperity of the billion poor and also the well being of the planet.
it's a wonder though that they can live on a dollar a day. i mean, could you or I live on a dollar a day? money makes no sense; it's madness. not that I'd want to trade places but how can the cost of living be a dollar a day and here it's probably ten, twenty times that?! what's gone wrong with our economy? have we just accepted things increase ad infinitum?
another question for you: how many women make up the list of billionaires? and should all couples be co-named as joint billionaires rather than just the guy?
of course, in our house it's always the wife's money - even though it's a joint account and my wage packet is the greater. like, it's the daughters always owe her money and such-and-such cost her X quid. see, it doesn't matter a jot who brings it in but who spends it! so, imo, it is the wives who should be named in most cases... ;o)
I hired a handful of workers and found interesting things for them to do - out of my own pocket money. Perhaps guilt, but also just a practical way to use my relative wealth.