THE SUPER RICH: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
Some use their billions to eradicate diseases and improve the lives of millions. Some don’t! We live in a world of extreme inequality, where in 2016 for the first time in history, the richest 1% has more wealth than the rest of the world combined.  According to Oxfam, shockingly, “the 62 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the population”. Let’s discuss what it means to be Super Rich in today’s world and the impact extreme wealth has on those who have it and those who don’t.
THE SUPER RICH OF 2016
Every year Forbes Magazine publishes the list of the world’s richest people. In 2016 volatile stock markets, cratering oil prices and a stronger dollar led to a dynamic reshuffling of wealth around the globe. This year Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, has claimed the top spot for the 17th time with a fortune of $75 billion. Amancio Ortega, Spanish businessman and founder of Zara, came in second and Warren Buffet, the American investor, was placed third. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had the best year of all billionaires. The 31 year old added $11.2 billion to his fortune and moved up to No. 6 from 16. The youngest billionaire in the world is a 19 year old Norwegian heiress, Alexandra Andresen, who has a 42% stake in her family’s business. 
In 2016 there was a record 66 billionaires under the age of 40. Another first: A billionaire from China’s mainland, Wang Jianlin, whose company owns AMC Theaters and soon will own Legendary Pictures, has climbed into the top 20. The U.S. has 540 billionaires, more than any other country in the world. It’s followed by mainland China with 251 (Hong Kong has another 69) and Germany with 120. Russia has 77 ten-figure fortunes, 11 fewer than last year, while Brazil is down 23 to 31. 
I have tried to select some examples of the Super Rich who can be considered the good guys based on how they choose to use to spend their money on philanthropic causes or focus their time and resources on ideas that will benefit the wider good. However, try to keep in mind that like all things in life that you try to put nice neat labels on - good or bad is rarely 100% black or white. It is all very well to admire the world’s most generous philanthropists, but if the way the money was accumulated in the first place was ethically questionable, then do they deserve so much credit?
Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen launched Microsoft 40 years ago with the goal of getting a computer on every person’s desk. Now, 84% of U.S. households own a computer. Fifteen years ago, Bill and Melinda Gates started their charitable foundation with the goal of reducing inequality and have put more than $30 billion to work toward that end. These days Bill uses his intellect and entrepreneurial energy to reduce extreme poverty, improve healthcare and create education opportunities. He has pledged to give away all his money before he dies, and has stated that each of his children will only receive $10 million. 
Bill’s biggest concerns these days are the.....
*** THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF THE SUPER RICH WORKSHOP! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO EXPERIENCE THIS CONVERSATION WORKSHOP IN FULL, WITH A GLASS OF WINE AND A FRIENDLY GROUP OF PEOPLE, THEN PLEASE CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW TO PARTICIPATE.
The rest of this workshop will discuss...
- SERGEY BRIN
- ELON MUSK
- JORGE PAULO LEMANN
- THE BAD
- RUPERT MURCHDOCH
- THE KOCH BROTHERS
- DONALD TRUMP (THE UGLY)
- HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1 BILLION
How would you spend $1 Billion?
Please let us know by leaving a response in the comment section below.
- inequality: (noun) [Portuguese: desigualdade] - difference in size, degree, circumstances, etc.; lack of equality.
- stock market: (noun) [Portuguese: mercado de ações] - a market in which securities are bought and sold.
- heiress: (noun) [Portuguese: herdeira] - a female heir, especially to vast wealth.
- to crush: (verb) [Portuguese: esmagar] - deform, pulverize, or force inwards by compressing forcefully.
- to stifle: (verb) [Portuguese: sufocar] – make (someone) unable to breathe properly; suffocate. "those in the streets were stifled by the fumes" Also means to prevent someone from saying what they want
- wind turbines: (noun) [Portuguese: turbinas eólicas] - a turbine having a large vaned wheel rotated by the wind to generate electricity.
- mistress: (noun) [Portuguese: amante] - a woman having an extramarital sexual relationship, especially with a married man.
- to coarsen: (verb) [Portuguese: engrossar] - make or become crude, vulgar, or unpleasant. "her experience has not coarsened her or made her cynical"
- cut throat: (adjective) [Portuguese: ruinosa] - (of a competitive situation or activity) fierce and intense; involving the use of ruthless measures.
- greed: (noun) [Portuguese: ganância] - having or showing an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth or power.
- to hack: (verb) [Portuguese: hackear] - an act of computer hacking.
- to bribe: (verb) [Portuguese: subornar] - persuade (someone) to act in one's favor, typically illegally or dishonestly, by a gift of money or other inducement.
- petulant: (adjective) [Portuguese: petulante] - (of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered. "he was moody and petulant"
- mogul: (noun) [Portuguese: mogol] - an important or powerful person, especially in the motion picture or media industry.
- to sue: (verb) [Portuguese: processar] - institute legal proceedings against (a person or institution)
REFERENCES & SOURCES
- “Oxfam says wealth of richest 1% equal to other 99%” 18th January 2016, BBC
- Rich List 2016, Forbes
- Bill Gates, Forbes
- “Traffic accidents worldwide” 2013, World Health Organisation
- “Sergey Brin affair” 12th March 2014, Grigoriadis, Vanessa, Vanity Fair
- Jorge Paulo Lemann, Forbes
- Income inequality in Brazil, Wikipedia
- “10 Worst Billionaires” 13th March 2013, Salon
- “British phone-hacking scandal was a low point for Rupert Murdoch” 11th June 2015, Boyle, Christina, Los Angeles Times
- “How Fox ate National Geographic” 14th November 2014, Thielman, Sam, The Guardian
- “Koch Brothers’ Budget of $889 Million for 2016 Is on Par With Both Parties’ Spending” Confessore, Nicholas, 26th January 2015, The New York Times
© COPYRIGHT 2016 JAMES WJ SUTTON & ESTÚDIO447 ENGLISH CLUB
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