In a Flat Economy, the List of Billionaires Gets Longer
The rich are definitely getting richer. The list of richest people in the world have grown to a record level of 1,426 billionaires with a total worth over $5.4 trillion up from $4.6 trillion last year based on the annual Forbes magazine study.
The United States’ own Bill Gates took second place with a worth of $67 billion, while Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim grabbed the top spot with a fortune of $73 billion.
Of Forbes’ top ten, eight were over the age of 70. However there were some youngsters on the list, like the original Facebook collaborators Mark Zuckerberg (28), Eduardo Saverin (30), and Dustin Moskovitz (28).
The list of billionaires is not just a boys club either. Women billionaires increased year-over-year from 104 to 138, with 90-year-old L’Oreal cosmetics guru Liliane Bettencourt topping the list of women and also claiming a top 10 spot at number nine of all billionaires worldwide.
It’s also interesting to note that many of those on the top 20 list come from a retail background, such as the heads of Zara, H&M, and Wal-Mart.
Although this may seem like a benefit for those who actually made the list, this appears to be a concern for the overall economy. The Trade Union Congress general secretary Frances O’Grady said in the UK’s Guardian, “These latest findings from Forbes make for very disturbing reading. Trickle-down economists may love having a growing super-elite, but seem to forget the fact that rising pay inequality was a major cause of the financial crash… Unless wealth is spread more broadly, we will be unable to build a sustainable recovery, as consumer spending will continue to flat-line.”
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