Bernie Sanders appears on track to clinch the Democratic nomination to the consternation of the DNC, and every American voter who abhors his vision of a ‘Democratic socialist’ society has been reflecting on the successes and failures of capitalism. Of course, over the past ten years, there’s no question that economic inequality has widened, if only because the Federal Reserve and the rest of the central banks embarked on an unprecedented experimented in loose monetary policy.
Now, as LearnBonds pointed out in a recent report, the cumulative wealth of the world’s ten richest people is now larger than the aggregate GDP of 85 impoverished countries.
According to IMF figures for 2019 released back in October, the poorest 85 countries have a combined GDP of $813 billion. For comparison, by LB’s count, the net worth of the world’s 10 wealthiest individuals is $858.1 billion.
In a bar chart, LB offers a few more helpful comparisons:
Here’s another example:There isn’t a single African country that has a higher GDP when compared to the cumulative wealth of the top ten richest people. Nigeria, which has Africa’s highest GDP of $446.543 billion, amounts to about half of the net worth of the top ten wealthiest.
Here’s another fun chart:
Of course, the one thing Bernie Sanders’ supporters always seem to leave out during their tirades about evil billionaires is that most of this wealth isn’t real. It’s not like they have a giant vault filled with dabloons that they can swim in like Scrooge McDuck. Jeff Bezos, for example, holds like 99% of his wealth in Amazon stock. If something were ever to happen to Amazon, like – god forbid – Microsoft overtaking it as the top provider of cloud computing services, Bezos’ net worth will take a huge nosedive.
Millions of savers and retirees would also get hurt as well, as the value of much of their equity index holdings would vanish.
Of course, after this week, perhaps the elitest of the elites’ wealth is a little lower.