8 Men Are As Rich As 3.6 Billion People

scorpio20's picture
Rank: Baboon | 154

A recent report by Oxfam International has found that 8 men are as rich as the poorest 3.6 billion people in the world. These eight include Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Amancio Ortega, Larry Ellison, and Jeff Bezos. Together, they own 426 billion dollars. The report goes on to state that the top 1% of the population controls 42% of the wealth.

These statistics are beyond alarming. Although income inequality is not a new issue, it continues to grow with time. Thoughts? How can the issue of income inequality be tackled?

Comments (15)

Best Response
Jan 16, 2017

Why is that alarming? Stop using their services and you will stop lining their pockets. Pay somebody else to communicate with your friends, or manage business software.

Let's compare the number of people that have been lifted out of poverty to the number of people that get to join that club every year. There are 8 people on your list - there has been a post-industrial revolution economy for 150 years. We could even argue that all of those people made their money in the last 75 years - it's not like there is a systemic conspiracy to keep wealthy individuals wealthy. So once every 10 or so years somebody comes into that club. How many people have better lives every year because of these dudes? More than 1/10th of a person? I just cannot see how this is so alarming to you. Maybe you should explain the feelings more.

Jan 16, 2017

Stop feeding the Mumbai Click Farm

Jan 16, 2017

Haha, I knew the Rand-tards would be out in full force on this topic. No sense of scale or relativity, just statements dealing in absolutes citing non-nuanced analogies to the animal kingdom.

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Jan 16, 2017

Ok Crazy Bernie

Jan 16, 2017

8 WSO members are as rich as 3.6 billion people, who basically have $0.

On income, rather than assets, the numbers look different. But don't blame the rich for the fact that the poor don't save a higher percentage of their income.

Jan 16, 2017

as capitalistic as I think I am, this statement is a little short sighted. By definition, poor people have higher fixed costs as a percentage of income than rich people (rent, food etc.). Making saving/investing tough and sometimes even unrealistic. Especially given the relative increase in rent compared to wages since 2000. It is no one's "fault" but it is reality, and this "gap" will only continue to grow as long as the idea of finance exists.

What interests me is what the world will look like in 100 or 200 years, as this wealth gap continues. Do we see some sort of uprising from the "have-nots"? Or is the standard of living for "have-nots"comfortable enough to maintain a status-quo?

Jan 16, 2017
Brosef Stalin17:

as capitalistic as I think I am, this statement is just short sighted. By definition, poor people have higher fixed costs as a percentage of income than rich people (rent, food etc.). Making saving/investing tough and sometimes even unrealistic. Especially given the relative increase in rent compared to wages since 2000. It is no one's "fault" but it is reality, and this "gap" will only continue to grow as long as the idea of finance exists.

What interests me is what the world will look like in 100 or 200 years, as this wealth gap continues. Do we see some sort of uprising from the "have-nots"? Or is the standard of living for "have-nots"comfortable enough to maintain a status-quo?

You know, that's a fair criticism. I guess my counter to that is that people derive utility from food, from rent, and these other fixed costs. Furthermore, while you may not be able to cut food, you can often cut rent. At least in the west, we have more control over the expenses we consider needs than we think.

Either way, though, that doesn't change the fact that Oxfam's statistic is bogus or at least misleading. The honest title of the report should be that 50% of the world has $0. That is something we've known for decades and decades and this is just a politically-motivated reframing of that.

One last point-- while I'm all for the IRS conducting politically neutral audits, are we sure Oxfam qualifies as a 501c3 despite their political activity? To be sure we need to go after the Tea Party too-- and the IRS has.

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Jan 16, 2017

This doesn't bother me in the slightest. These people also give large amounts to charity and seem to do what they can to make people in less fortunate positions have better standards of living.

Would also say that you don't get to be "alarmed" if you are single and making over $20-30k USD.

...

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Jan 16, 2017

I have spent some time thinking about this topic, and an answer might lie in IP laws. Modifying them in a way to promote further competition would do a lot for income inequality. IP laws are intended to promote advancement in technology, but also act as regulations that eliminate competition.

Big pharma is great example of where this theory could be applied. The narrative of price gauging has led to conversations of capping price increases on big pharma. Effectively trying to fix one problem created by regulation with another regulation. Why not reevaluate the length of time these patents are effective?

Jan 16, 2017

Someone has more to me and I want government to take it from them and give it to me.

How does childhood logic continue into adulthood.

Jan 16, 2017

Also that $426B you quoted is net worth, value of stock and companies not cash in the bank.

Jan 16, 2017

Considering that Buffett and Gates have pledged to give away like 99% of their wealth it's not really alarming. It's a misleading statistic because your local milkman is richer than the poorest 200 million by the way they measure it, which obviously doesn't imply that capitalism has somehow allocated 'their' wealth to him. They're just really fucking poor, but inequality itself is not the cause of that.

Jan 16, 2017

I think people need to realize the rule of 72 because it's quite obvious that these guys make wise investments with a lot of capital. Bill Gates could've been worth 150 billion if he wanted to. I think he could care less.

Jan 16, 2017

I call BS. This report clearly doesn't accurately value blood diamonds.

Feb 8, 2017
Comment

"Never believe in anything until it has been officially denied"

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