On the last week of the year, mass media offer lists about the most important pieces of news, the blockbuster films, the best-selling books, the best goals or the prettiest celebrities of the year.
Among all these lists, one of the most amazing is the list of the world’s wealthiest people, published by Forbes. However, we should say “wealthiest men” because there are only 4 women included in the fist 50 top rich people. And this list is published worldwide because it seems that everybody wants to know who the richest man on Earth is. Every Christmas, we are reminded that the Mexican Carlos Sim and the Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are the top three, and the Spanish Amancio Ortega is the fifth thanks to his clothing merchandiser Inditex, including brands like Zara.
However, this list never questions the legitimacy of such fortunes. And it is never said that any of the three richest men on Earth, with a wealth of more than 44 billion dollars, is rich enough to end up with the world’s famine for one year, according to FAO. If we take the top five rich men, they have enough money to eradicate the world’s hunger for six years.
This kind of comparison is usually labelled as demagogic because life is never so simple, but in this case it is. Only if one of these men decided to do things differently, the world could make a positive change. However, if they are the richest men on Earth, they are not likely to be willing to change society.
- Forbes magazine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbes
- Forbes’s with the world’s billionaires: http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/list/
- A post at Delivering Data about how much money is needed to eradicate world hunger: http://www.deliveringdata.com/2010/11/how-much-money-is-needed-to-eradicate.html