In the News
8 billionaires own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world's population - does it matter?
Oxfam have updated their list and comparison of the world's super-rich showing that the top 8 wealthiest people own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world's population. You can see their article here.
Interestingly, the Oxfam announcement has come under a little criticism about its relevance (no-one appears to be questioning the data) and I thought it would be interesting to ask students how they felt about the issue. Does it matter that we have a small amount of super-rich people if, on average, every human being is getting wealthier?
The criticisms of the Oxfam article can be found at a BBC link here.
To stimulate your discussion and by way of a fun starter, I've included an 'Iceberg Challenge' resource downloadable below. Run the Powerpoint slideshow and ask your students whether the next named billionaire has a higher or lower level of wealth than the previous name. Just a little bit of fun! The 8 named billionaires are:
1. Bill Gates (US): co-founder of Microsoft (net worth $75bn)
2. Amancio Ortega (Spain): founder of Zara owner Inditex (net worth $67bn)
3. Warren Buffett (US): largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth $60.8bn)
4. Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico): owner of Grupo Carso (net worth $50bn)
5. Jeff Bezos (US): founder and chief executive of Amazon (net worth $45.2bn)
6. Mark Zuckerberg (US): co-founder and chief executive of Facebook (net worth $44.6bn)
7. Larry Ellison (US): co-founder and chief executive of Oracle (net worth $43.6bn)
8. Michael Bloomberg (US): owner of Bloomberg LP (net worth $40bn)