Oh those billions!

IT IS interesting to note that Warren Buffet has displaced Bill Gates after 13 long years as the world’s richest man at a time when charitable mood has overtaken him, prompting giving away large portions of his wealth.

It is also remarkable that while the global economy has been taking a tumbling over the last year, not only has the number of billionaires grown worldwide, but members from emerging economies like India, China and Russia have made greater inroads into the top ranks of the list our rich and famous await with considerable anxiety.

Seen in proper context, the fact that the world’s lot of 1,125 billionaires hold approximately $4.4 trillion, accounting for the world’s most successful and influential people, is indicative of a global trend with little respect for the present age’s social trend.

Increasing amounts of the world’s wealth are concentrated in so few hands at a time when the battle against global poverty, with all its nuances, is not proving as successful as man’s unprecedented learning in the age of science and technology would have demanded.

India is a good example. Boasting four billionaires in the top ten, the country is ranked number three with 53 people whose bank balances exceed $1,000,000,000. In a country with one of the most abhorrent poverty rates and fallouts in the world, perhaps a system that makes for a fairer distribution of wealth till the average spread is more egalitarian would have been more desirable. China’s and Russia’s stories are similar.

Of course, the world’s bigger economies are home to more of the richest, begging the question of just how fair the international economic system is, and whether a bit more soul searching is required by pundits of the capitalist doctrine so more of the world can hold enough fruits that they can live to enjoy. Clearly a greater flow of these riches should make its way to the economic south, where it would find much more effective use than sitting in bank accounts or riding profitable waves of international stock and financial markets.

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