These 8 Dudes Are Worth As Much Money As Half The People On The Planet

Just eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world, according to a new report from Oxfam, indicating that the gip between rich and poor is even greater than had been assumed.

“Collectively, the world’s richest eight men have a net wealth of USD $426 billion (AUD $621 billion) – about the same as the bottom half of humanity,” said Oxfam chief executive Dr Helen Szoke. The Oxfam report, called ‘An Economy for the 99 per cent’, is published today.
“Such an extreme divide between the rich and the rest risks plunging future generations into political instability, undermining our democratic institutions and creating economic upheaval,” Szoke continued.
Unsurprisingly, Australia isn’t immune from concentrations of wealth. Our richest two billionaires – Gina Rinehart and Harry Trigguboff – have a net worth equal to the poorest 20 percent of the country.
The eight men who own more than the poorest half of the world, ordered by their net worth, are the following:
  1. Bill Gates (US$75 billion)
  2. Amancio Ortega (US$67 billion)
  3. Warren Buffet (US$60.8 billion)
  4. Carlos Slim Helu (US$50 billion)
  5. Jeff Bezos (US$45.2 billion)
  6. Mark Zuckerberg (US$44.6 billion)
  7. Larry Ellison (US$43.6 billion)
  8. Michael Bloomberg (US$40 billion)
Five of those listed – Gates, Buffet, Zuckerberg, Ellison and Bloomberg – participate in The Giving Pledge, a campaign which stipulates that they give away the majority of their net worth to philanthropic causes either during their lifetime or after their death. It’s important to note that this is a moral pledge and not a legal contract, and none of them have yet achieved that goal. There is no obligation for signatories to disclose how much they have donated, if anything.
Oxfam is using this as a stark example to illustrate the need for more rigid taxation and redistribution – including laws which compel companies to “publicly report incomes, employees, profits earned and taxes paid”.
“The Australian Government has a responsibility to ensure the economy works for everyone, to end the extreme concentration of wealth and ensure those at the bottom end are better supported,” said Dr Szoke.
Source: Oxfam.
Photo: The Simpsons.