NEW YORK — The Bloomberg Billionaires Index tracks the world’s 500 richest people on an almost continuous basis. 
The number and power of billionaires became an issue in the 2020 campaign, because both Senators Warren and Sanders have proposed a wealth tax aimed at billionaires to pay for their expansive social programs.

Bloomberg News updates the figures that feed its list after the close of every trading day at the New York Stock Exchange.

This is a list of the 500 richest people in the world. The list does not include Michael Bloomberg because the website he owns does not report on his wealth or political activities. If he were included he would be about #19 in the world with a net worth in excess of $50 billion.

Jeff Bezos was #1 until he divorced his wife and gave her $35 billion. Now he is #2  ($111 billion), almost tied with Bill Gates, who is #1 ($112 billion). The two are so close, they may change places on any given day.

Billionaires with less than $4 billion are not listed among the top 500 in the world. The list was copied on December 19, so the rankings may have changed slightly since then.

The three members of the Walton family–Jim, Alice, and Rob–are collectively worth more than $150 billion. They should pay their 1 million Walmart employees $20 an hour, which would do more to improve the lives of children than creating thousands of privately managed charter schools.

Charles Koch and his brother David’s widow, Julia Flesher Koch are each worth over $61 billion. Julia Koch is the richest woman in the world, a title she took away from Alice Walton, who is worth “only” $53 billion.

The Waltons, Bill Gates, Bloomberg, and the Koch family are major supporters of charter schools (and in the case of the Waltons and Koch, vouchers too).

7 Comments Post your own or leave a trackback: Trackback URL

  1. So: May I look forward to seeing them all with Robin Leach on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless”?

  2. retired teacher says:

    There is something wrong with an economy that produces so many wealthy individuals, has a soaring stock market and low unemployment, yet so many people can barely pay their bills. Many working families do not have enough savings to cover an emergency, save for retirement or for college tuition for their children. Many of these working poor are employees of the companies that some of the billionaires on the list own. As Bernie has said, we have a rigged economy that boosts the wealth of the 1% and ignores the struggles of working families. With union membership at about 11%, most American workers do not have the clout to negotiate a better deal with employers. Workers need to unite to fight for better pay and working conditions, and we need to overturn “right to work” laws that discourage organized labor.

  3. I think there should be national/state elections every two years that determine what billionaires get to keep their wealth and power. That way, billionaires that abuse their wealth and power risk losing it all and have to find jobs that are mandated to start only at minimum wage for the former billionaires and their families to survive.

    In addition, those billionaires cannot be allowed to spend one cent of their wealth to manipulate public opinion through traditional or social media. However, they should be allowed to offer a debate defense on stage in front of cameras against those who allege they are unworthy to be wealthy and powerful.

  4. NYC public school parent says:

    The vast wealth of someone who has a single $1 billion is more than most of us can even understand.

    Imagine having $100 million to spend on your family. You’d be overjoyed. You’d know your children, grandchildren, and great and great great grandchildren would be well taken care of. Than imagine have 10 times as much to pass along.

    Now imagine that you are so greedy that you don’t feel as if that single billion is enough. Sure you have 10 times $100 million dollars, but that’s nothing. You need $2 billion. No, you are even greedier and you need $4 billion.

    Imagine the massive greed of those people. Imagine the massive greed and corruption of those people when they give away what amounts to a single dollar for the rest of us and demand that the world bow down and express gratitude to them and agree to do whatever they order to express their thanks for their “generosity” of giving away their dollar.

    Elizabeth Warren is correct. These people need their wealth taxed and the small amount she is advocating for should be embraced by everyone who calls themselves a progressive.

  5. It’s hard to understand why those with such immense wealth never see or care about those who are struggling to survive. “MORE” is all they think about. It is a game of who is superior and who are losers.

    There is no compassion, just the ‘get the rewards’ that prove ‘only I am important’.

  6. chuck gregory says:

    The simple answer to a lot is an equitable tax system. In my state, I did the numbers and found out that a “max cap tax” system would provide the same revenue as our current system, but cut taxes from 65 to 100 percent for everybody making $1 million or less.

    It’s based on a single tax rate– 35%– which has been found to be the maximally tolerable by most in society. The top earners pay that.

    Everybody earning less pays a percentage of that based on the ratio of their income to that of the top earners. If the average of the top earners is $50 million, then a household making $1 million pays one-fiftieth of that rate, or a 0.7% tax rate. In my state, the after-tax average income for the top 0.3% would be around $2.4 million, a sufficient sum to get by on.

    The added advantage is that the legislature can very easily adjust the rate to accommodate budget needs.

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