It’s a sad but true fact of life. Money equals power, more now than ever. And the rich and powerful are getting richer and even more powerful. And, unfortunately, most Americans have no idea how wide the chasm is between the very rich and the rest of us.
There’s a powerful video that’s just gone viral that illustrates the obscene wealth inequality in the US. Take a few minutes to watch this:
It’s pretty shocking when you see it in those visual terms. Now take a gander at Forbes new list of the 500 richest billionaires in the world. Not only are there are more of them than there were last year, they’re a lot richer than they were last year too.
This year Forbes has uncovered a record 1,426 billionaires. That is 200 more than we found in 2012, another record breaking year. It’s also nearly ten times as many as Forbes pinned down in 1987, the year we began tracking fortunes around the world.
The group is worth $5.4 trillion, an astounding 17% jump from a year ago. The average net worth of a Forbes billionaire is $3.8 billion, $100 million more than a year ago. More than two-thirds of the world’s richest added to their fortunes.
When I look at the list of billionaires and see how many of them are Americans, and further realize that the US is the wealthiest nation in the world, I can’t help but wonder why we’re constantly being told we’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis.
Even today, the Dow closed at an all time high, but we don’t have enough money to keep teachers employed, fix crumbling schools and infrastructure, and insure that our senior citizens and the most vulnerable people in society are are OK? Something is seriously wrong here. Our priorities, perhaps?
I discussed the dilemma on the show this morning with Rick Ungar, Forbes contributor and all-around really smart guy. We came up with a lot of solutions; unfortunately, I don’t think DC was listening.