Billionaires don’t even know how much they’re worth, and we’re definitely underestimating their wealth.
So — right off the bat and for a bit of perspective — one million seconds is roughly 11.5 days, whereas one billion seconds is more than 31 years.
With that established, let’s dive into some of the most horrid facts about billionaires!
The number of billionaires exploded during the past year (yes, that’s during the pandemic) to its current total of 2,755.
That’s 660 more people than last year — meaning a new billionaire was added to the tally every 17 hours. Their total net worth is $13.1 trillion, $5 trillion more than last year.
In fact, in the first month of the pandemic, U.S. billionaires collectively added $300 billion to their wealth.
According to economist Jeffrey Sachs, the cost of ending poverty is roughly $175 billion each year for 20 years. This means that the world’s billionaires could solve world impoverishment and still have almost $10 trillion left to spare.
Throughout the past two decades, American billionaire wealth has increased from $240 billion (adjusted for inflation) to $4.18 trillion in March 2021. That’s 17 times more than their total wealth in 1990.
If you can believe it, there’s a huge wealth gap even among billionaires. The majority, 94%, are worth $10 billion or less. After that, 5% are worth between $10 and $30 billion, while mega-billionaires — who comprise less than 1% of all billionaires — are worth more than $30 billion.
Billionaires are not just incredibly influential — they’re often directly in our politics, too. According to Vox’s Explained series on Netflix, around a dozen world leaders are billionaires. In addition, there’s about 100 billionaires in the Chinese Parliament.
Billionaires hire people — from lawyers to lobbyists — who specialize in ensuring their taxes are kept low through legal loopholes in the system.
All in all, the result is billionaires hiding more than one-fifth of their income from the IRS. Yup, the 1% evade taxes so much that they account for more than a third of unpaid federal taxes.
There’s also the offshore financial system, where entire islands are dedicated to helping billionaires avoid taxes. For example, the South Pacific Cook Islands literally specialize in helping wealthy people hide assets from creditors.
As a result of these offshore accounts, approximately 10% of the world’s GDP — that’s trillions of dollars — is hidden away.
What’s more — billionaires might not even know how much they’re worth, and the numbers we know could be totally off. In fact, two-thirds of most billionaires’ wealth is not publicly available information.
Which, of course, brings us all to our last and most horrid fact of all: Billionaires barely pay ANY taxes — if they do so at all.
Simply put: “You’re not gonna earn a billion dollars pulling down regular income and paying regular income tax on it. Just not gonna happen.”
Source: BuzzFeed – Celebrity