Posted by Sobriquet Style on May 10, 2006, at 5:30:22
In reply to Re: Estella » Sobriquet Style, posted by Estella on May 10, 2006, at 1:43:12
That caught my eye too with the number of billionaires, although 249 is a very small number of individuals compared to the American population as a whole, it is still a very big number compared to other countries internationally. Also, 'millionaires' are quite common these days not only in America, but becoming more common in other countries too, give or take the currency exchange rate, but whos counting when you have that much!
>but my understanding is that the USA has the biggest imbalance in the distribution of wealth (from within the country) in the developed world.
I think you're right, although I could be wrong too, but i've heard that you can live a very comfortable life if you do well in America - financially/materially - but if you don't and you're poor, then, you're *poor* bigtime. Although this is the case in other develped countries, I've heard that it is a more pronouced case in America, in black and white extream terms. Of course there is a middle ground inbetween though.
One important factor to take into account is the *individuals* who become milionaires or more rare - billionaires. Eg. How did they obtain their wealth? Right from millionaires made over night weekly from lottery's, to rags from riches business people who started off right on the poverty scale and worked their way up, right time, right place, motivation to get there etc, and just a *little* touch of luck! Some can be said, to be described ruthless and cunning in some repsects of business and getting what they want and how they get it. (I'm not syaing they all are, or even if they are, to keep things civil, for the rules :)
You may find details of some of those rich here.
There is a man called Nicholas van Hoogstraten who was/is thought to be worth about 500 million in Great Britain, he has been linked with murder and has a close relationship, who is speaks highly of, Zimbabwean - President Robert Mugabe. I'm sure you've heard of him, but if not, he's worth a google if you haven't.
Then there are millionaires/billionaires made through the illegal drug trade which is thought to be worth hundreds of billionaires of dollars, ranking close to oil internationally. These people won't be published to openly though.. If the drugs were made legal, I think they would compete fairly well with pharm (legal) drug companies, unless of course those companies took over the illegal drug business..
Finally you have well-known wealthy people who are very generous with their wealth setting up charities and ways to fund poor countries and help the extream poor people of the world.
One thing worth mentioning as well, which is very important IMHO, is how much you value, not wealth of money status, but your wealth of happiness. If you had to choose between happiness or money, I'd choose both! Seriously, if it was a choice, either or, happiness would be more important to me personally. I say this because of a recent study whereby Americans suffer from a high scale of illness compared to the UK, and for reasons which some are unknown.
Notice too, that from the other link above, of the poorest countries in Africa, and ranked 13th as the poorest in the world, it may have the percentage of the highest wealth of happiness..
All in all, theres a yin to every yang...