The bottom half of humans own next to nothing, but they own as much as the world’s richest 80 individuals do, because though the bottom half are poor, there are 3.79 billion of them.
The average person among the richest 80 owns 45,750,000 times as much as does the average person among the lower half. In other words: in terms of wealth, the typical one of those hyper-rich equals nearly 46 million of those poor people.
The richest person among the poor half of humanity owns approximately $5,000, but billions of people in the lower half own less than nothing — they’re negative net worth: owing more than they own. However, whatever they own is visible, and easily seizable, either by creditors, or by thieves.
By contrast, the wealth of all billionaires, including of the top 80, is largely secret, lots of it being in shell companies, many offshore, untraceable. Consequently, estimates of the wealth of the richest 80 individuals are probably unrealistically low. This secretiveness is a major reason why the public tolerates being ruled by an aristocracy: they don’t even recognize that they are — they think they live in a democracy, even if they don’t.
The roughly two thousand known billionaires do lots of business with others in the billionaire class, and with politicians whose careers they fund. And they tend to get what they want in the resulting governmental policies.
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