The Wealth of 85 Billionaires Equals That of the 3.5 Billion Poorest People in the World

03 Feb

When 85 Equals 3.5 Billion,  You Have a Horrendous Inequality

Good Reads

Submitted by Frank Murphy

It is a strongly held belief in our country that people should be appropriately rewarded for their contributions to building and advancing the economic strength of our society.

 “In doing so, some economic inequality is essential to drive growth and progress, rewarding those with talent, hard earned skills, and the ambition to innovate and take entrepreneurial risks.”

But when the wealth of the 85 richest billionaires in the world equals the combined wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people in the world, you are looking at a serious inequality.

“The extreme levels of wealth concentration occurring today threaten to exclude hundreds of millions of people from realizing the benefits of their talents and hard work.” 

This is the main point of this news story that I recently read.  A PDF of the Oxform briefing paper from which I extracted the above quotes can be found here.   It is an interesting read.

After reading this article, my curiosity was aroused regarding who these few people are who posses so much of the world’s wealth.  Here is a link to an article that identifies the 100 wealthiest people in the world.  Note that several of the individuals who occupy the 20 top spots on this list are actively involved in influencing public policy and advancing legislation that can and do profoundly affect the governance of public schools, labor practices, health care and the economic well being of working poor and middle class families.

Finally I have linked below Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is.




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