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Billionaires Vs Poverty

Outlining the differences

Websites such as Wikipedia and the Forbes list state that there are over 2500 billionaires. They make up a total net worth of 12.7 trillion dollars. This is a substantial amount and will only continue to rise as the richest people will undoubtedly get even more richer. On the other hand, the worldbank states that almost half of the worlds population lives on less than 6.50 dollars a day. Furthermore over 7% of the world population live in extreme poverty or over 600 million people. To further outline the difference between the richest vs the poorest; Jess Bezos the richest man in the world has an estimated net worth of 120 billion dollars. Basing solely off net worth value, an average person spending 1 dollar is comparative to Bezos spending 2 million dollars. This highlights how unimaginably wealthy the top billionaires are in comparison to an average but compared to someone living in extreme poverty this comparison beyond comprehensible. Many people have brought up the questions of why hasn’t poverty ended if there are so many rich people in the world and have the rich people even contributed towards helping those that are living in poverty.

The good

A lot of billionaires such as Jeff Bezos, Bill gates and Elon musk have donated huge sums of money to charities, food banks and establishments that provide aid to those in poverty. The Forbes has recorded that some of the billionaires have collectively given away over 149 billion dollars in their lifetime. This amount of donation has most certainly impacted those in poverty and would have provided a lot of aid and support to those who need it. Recently in November Elon Musk donated 6 billion dollars to a charity after tweeting to the UN world food program. This would have resulted in a huge supply of food that the food program can give to those that were living in poverty. Bill Gates made a huge impact during the pandemic as he had committed over 1.75 billion dollars to vaccine research which resulted in a pandemic relief. This was not only beneficial to those that didn’t live in poverty but was especially beneficial to those in poverty. Out of all the billionaires that have given away their money to helpful causes no one comes as close to being pledged to give away their fortune as Warren Buffet. He established the giving pledge where he aims to convince other billionaires to give away at least half of their fortune. So far he has already donated over half of his fortune and plans to give away 99% of his fortune in his lifetime. This pledge was received well by people around the world as it showed that the richest people in the world have taken a lot of initiatives to help those that are less fortunate than them.

The bad

However, despite so many instances of billionaires giving away their money why are people still conflicted and doubtful about the richest people not actually doing anything to end things such as world hunger or alleviating poverty? An American activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once stated that no one ever makes a billion dollars, you take a billion dollars. This delves into the idea that the reason there are so many billionaires is due to the fact that they exploit the people in poverty in order to boost their wealth. A primary example of this is the exploitation of sweat shop workers which many wealthy brands have used. This allows the rich to massively boost their net worth whilst only giving away miniscule and not having to worry about their cost of businesses. Many billionaires have benefited massively from the recent pandemic. For example, the pandemic led to 40 new billionaires being established. Furthermore, it has been reported billionaires got over 600 billion dollars richer just from the pandemic. Not only does this further bridge the gap between the rich and the poor it also has caused many people to lose faith in the billionaires aiding those in need despite having records of them giving away their fortune. The saying “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” has continued to be used by many people due to these actions.

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