The gap between the super rich and the poor is now officially wider than ever. Wider than the grand canyon. Wider than the tense, empty space growing between you and your husband of twenty years after you find out he’s been seeing the gardener behind your back, but feel unable to confront him about it, so you just seethe in silent resentment. That wide.
According to a new report from Oxfam, last year’s data, which brought us the astounding discovery that 62 of the richest people in the world were worth the same as the poorest half combined, is dead wrong.
In fact, it’s much worse than that.
Updated data shows that between them, the world’s 8 richest men are as wealthy as the poorest half of the population combined. Those men are:
1. Bill Gates
Super-mega rich Microsoft guy, just wants you to do your best, worth US$75 billion (AU$99.25 billion)
2. Amancio Ortega
Owner of Zara and noted hermit, would buy your silence for $8,000 per month, worth US$67 billion (AU$88.66 billion)
3. Warren Buffet
Guy every personal finance blogger thinks they will be someday, worth US$60.8 billion (AU$80.46 billion)
4. Carlos Slim Helu
Massively rich business magnate (not to be confused with Fatboy Slim) worth US$50 billion (AU$66.16 billion)
5. Jeff Bezos
Father of Amazon.com and enabler of midnight impulse shoppers everywhere, worth US$45.2 billion (AU$59.81 billion)
6. Mark Zuckerberg
Coding prodigy, teller of Dad Jokes, worth US$44.6 billion (AU$59.02 billion)
7. Larry Ellison
Chairman of Oracle, into yachts, probably spends too long trimming his facial hair each day, worth US$43.6 billion (AU$57.69 billion)
8. Michael Bloomberg
Finance nerd, can and will pay you out in morse code, worth US$40 billion (AU$52.93 billion)
Remember those names for when the pitchforks come out.
In Australia, the top 1% have as much wealth as the bottom 70%. That’s like me sharing a packet of Tim Tams by taking five for myself and telling 70 of my closest friends to split the other five.
(Which, ok, isn’t that unrealistic when it comes to Tim Tams.)
Without naming any names – *coughGineRineheart&HarryTrigguboffcough* – Oxfam also pointed out that the two richest billionaires in Australia are worth US$16 billion (AU$21 billion), which is more than the bottom 20% of Aussies combined.
On the back of Australia’s Centrelink debacle and with Trump breathing his questionable economic policy down all our necks, now seems like a pretty opportune moment to start addressing the blindingly obvious inequalities in our economic system.
So how do we close the gap? Well, Oxfam’s suggestions largely boiled down to this: Billionaires of the world, pay your damn taxes.
NOTE: Quotes attributed to individuals in this blog are pure fabrication. No need for any billionaires to sue any anonymous personal finance bloggers.