Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened. -- Winston Churchill

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. -- Galileo Galilei

I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell. -- Harry Truman

Location: Wichita, Kansas

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Billionaire Club

The Forbes report on the world's richest people came out. You can check out individuals, where they are from, and where they got their money. You would expect the United States, as the most successful entrepreneurial nation on earth to lead the list for the most billionaires, and we do. Some of the other rankings by country are revealing.

1. United States – 371
2. Germany – 55
3. Russia – 33
4. Japan – 27
5. United Kingdom – 24
6. India – 23
7. Canada – 22
8. Turkey – 21
9. Hong Kong – 17
10. Brazil – 16
11. France – 14
12. Italy – 14
13. Saudi Arabia – 11
14. Mexico – 10
15. Spain – 10

The margin by which the U.S. ranks first is striking. It gives you some idea of our economic engine. That Germany takes second is remarkable when you consider the devastation of WWII and the subsequent split into two countries until the recent unification. Russia is certainly a comer, with some smart guys grabbing opportunity after the demise of the Soviet regime. Would you have guessed that Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Spain would be in a dead heat? That France cannot muster more than tiny Hong Kong says something as well.

Twelve out of the 25 very richest individuals in the world are Americans. Of these, 5 made their fortunes in computer related fields – Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, and Steve Ballmer. Three of these are from Microsoft alone. Five are inherited retailing fortunes, all with a last name of Walton. Just behind Bill Gates as second richest is Warren Buffet of investing. Rounding out the Americans at 14th is Sheldon Anderson, a cab driver's son who made big in trade shows, casinos and hotels. Other than the Walmart kids – whose Sam Walton started from scratch, all are self-made money.

Comments on "The Billionaire Club"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:33 PM) : 

These figures would be more useful if they were adjusted for population.


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