Forbes released their list of the richest people in the world. Billionaires! Fat stacks of cash that you and I will never have, but we suckers have to dream. Don’t we? Number one is Bill Gates reclaiming his throne after four years. He is worth $79.2 billion dollars. Let’s go ahead and put that into perspective. Let’s say Bill Gates pulls down a 40-hour work week like many of us do. That means Bill Gates would make $6.6 billion a month, which puts him at an hourly salary of roughly $38.1 million. Who needs a drink?
Now, I know Forbes is using net worth here, but we have to get our heads around it somehow. In Utah, according to Google, the median household income is $58,000 or $28 an hour. Twenty-eight dollars! Bill Gates hourly salary would be 1.4 million time larger than the median Utah household’s hourly pay if that was a yearly salary. $60,500 is the median income for the country. Sure, it sounds crazy comparing wealth to salary, but who cares. No one reading this is likely to achieve that kind of capital in their lifetime.
I suppose the good news is that Mr. Gates seems to genuinely want to do good in the world as does Warren Buffet through philanthropic efforts in countries that make the typical American’s median salaries look astronomical. It’s all perspective. It’s good to know some of that big money is attached to some people with big hearts as well.
That being said, things aren’t looking all that great for the working dude. According the Washington Center for Equitable Growth:
The share of total income earned by the top 1 percent of families was less than 10 percent in the late 1970s but now exceeds 20 percent as of the end of 2012.
I suppose if you are going to get that drink you better order from the well.
According to Nerd Wallet you’ll probably be paying for the cheap drink with a credit card. In 2014 average household debt was nearly $16,000 with about $7,000 in credit card debt and $32,000 in student loan debt. Consumer debt in the United States is $11.74 trillion. Let’s longhand that: $11,740,000,000,000 with about $860,000,000,000 of that in credit card debt.
Come to think of it, we are better off sticking to tap water. It’s a good amount of food for thought, which is still free that last time I checked.
If you are a glutton for punishment, you can check out the entire Forbes list here.