Join 3,375 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


March 1, 2002
2:39 PM   Subscribe

Imagine losing almost $6 billion of your own personal fortune in a year and still being the richest damn human in the known universe, hands down, with no one even close. (If i must, here's a link to the new Forbes list.) What I want to know is, how come out of the approximately 500 billionaires on the list, only 35 are women, and of those, only ONE made it herself. All the other super rich dames on the globe either married bucks, or got 'em from daddy.
posted by jellybuzz (21 comments total)

 
Having phrased your post such, do you actually expect that anyone here will be able to come up with an answer that will satisfy you, jellybuzz?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:56 PM on March 1, 2002


At least these people are doing something about it!
posted by dagny at 3:36 PM on March 1, 2002


Hah who says phalic symbolism is just a guy thing!!
posted by delmoi at 3:44 PM on March 1, 2002


THE PATRIARCHY KEEPS US DOWN
posted by goneill at 4:23 PM on March 1, 2002


Up with phallic symbols!
posted by kindall at 4:35 PM on March 1, 2002


I want to see at least one other figure between each of the Waltons on next year's list. They're just too close together. Come on people, get saving.
posted by vbfg at 4:54 PM on March 1, 2002


Wulfgar!, Given that jellybuzz did not make use of question marks, one must assume that his remarks are rhetorical, declarative, or just bad grammar... Dammit! Besides, jellybuzz, makes the assumption that a man who has lost 6 billion dollars is still the richest man in the universe. The universe is a very large place, and we may not be alone. Draw your own conclusions. Besides, whether Bill Gates is the richest man in this world is debatable. I have a life that is full of love and full of hope, I have my entire life in front of me, and I would say I am richer than Mr. Gates, because I wouldn't trade my fortune for his.
posted by banished at 4:59 PM on March 1, 2002


OK, Li Ka-Shing has the coolest name for a rich person ever.
posted by elvolio at 5:10 PM on March 1, 2002


I love how any time Bill Gates is mentioned, he has to be dammed. I don't like MS (no, not M$), I use ME and want to throw my laptop out the window b/c it crashes half the time, but i have no animosity towards someone who happens to me infinity times richer than me. In my simplistic and naive view of the world, the riches of people like him are the price we pay for capitalism that i have come to love and cherish (no sarcasm).
posted by jmd82 at 5:17 PM on March 1, 2002


Remember, these people are mainly (if not totally) billionaires ON PAPER. If Bill Gates decided to sell all his shares of Microsoft tomorrow, he wouldn't get anywhere near the $61.37 per share they were worth at the close today. By flooding the market with all those extra shares, the price would fall through the floor. He'd still be incredibly rich, but not THAT incredibly rich.

This is why he couldn't care less that he's "worth $6 billion less now" than he was a year ago. So much of it is accounting bogosity.
posted by aaron at 5:27 PM on March 1, 2002


The thing I always wonder about Gates is that he's sold so much Microsoft stock over the years and has undoubtedly reinvested it - so I wonder if he probably isn't way over that $60 billion number.
posted by owillis at 5:34 PM on March 1, 2002


What percentage of Gates's loss was due to actual losses and what was due to giving billions in paper assets to his Foundation?
posted by obfusciatrist at 5:35 PM on March 1, 2002


Not totally, aaron. Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA) is at #17, and IKEA is a private company. IKEA is rather secretive about its financial affairs, so I'm unsure how they've established his worth (although they do say they turn over approx $9bn per year).. but because of the company's situation, I'd imagine most of his $13.4 bil is either a) personal wealth, or b) an estimation of the value of the entire company. The latter seems unlikely since a company with $9bn turnover per year wouldn't be valued so low.. so I guess it can be said that Mr. Kamprad has a lot of mullah to play with (even though he's quite famously altruistic..)
posted by wackybrit at 5:36 PM on March 1, 2002


What I want to know is, how come out of the approximately 500 billionaires on the list, only 35 are women, and of those, only ONE made it herself.

Well that's a no-brainer ... it's obviously because women aren't nearly as good at oppressing the masses as men.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:51 PM on March 1, 2002


Yeah, ever heard the saying 'behind every great fortune is a great crime'? The absolute truth, you know. You cannot be that rich without exploiting many people. Look at George Bush's family! Remember how Preston Bush was making millions during WW2 with shady dealings with the largest Nazi steel producer? Remember how he got in trouble for that? Huh? Money through Dutch banks? Never paid reparations? Probably should have been put to death for treason? Didn't give any of the money back? We also ignore his family's dealings with OBL's family and others. Look into the history of any wealthy man and you'll find similar stories. Bill Gates is a Saint compared to a lot of these people.

The Bushs are worse than the Fords. Worse than that kid across the hall singing along to Creed.
posted by Settle at 8:08 PM on March 1, 2002


The rich are no more than lottery winners at best.

Beside them, little pot-bellied men in light suits and panama hats; clean, pink men with puzzled, worried eyes, with restless eyes. Worried because formulas do not work out; hungry for security and yet sensing its disappearance from the earth. In their lapels the insignia of lodges and service clubs, places where they can go and, by a weight of numbers of little worried men, reassure themselves that business is noble and not the curious ritualized thievery they know it is; that business men are intelligent in spite of the records of their stupidity; that they are kind and charitable in spite of the principles of sound business; that their lives are rich instead of the thin tiresome routines they know; and that a time is coming when they will not be afraid any more.

-- Steinbeck; The Grapes of Wrath
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:46 PM on March 1, 2002


The most compelling and obvious reasons for the scarcity of women on the list are given right on the linked page -- it has only been recently that women were in a position to make large sums of money, and it's going to take us a long while to acheive billionaire parity. Give us fifty years, and we'll outnumber the men.

so I guess it can be said that Mr. Kamprad has a lot of mullah to play with (even though he's quite famously altruistic..)

Altruism now to cover his Nazi-sympathising in the past...
posted by Dreama at 1:43 AM on March 2, 2002


MOOLAH, not MULLAH. Unless you're intentionally invoking an Islamic cleric.
posted by davidmsc at 7:06 AM on March 2, 2002


Funny, a search of the Forbes list pulls up no mention of anyone named Bush. Why am I not surprised?

wackybrit: Yeah, I know these people are unquestionably rollling in pooloads of dough. Just saying it's not quite as much as people think it is.
posted by aaron at 9:17 AM on March 2, 2002


We're not there now because we raise the babies. Many of the highest educated women with the most work experience have no choice but to give up the highest earning years of their lives to change diapers, because there are so few facilities that would make women able to be good mothers and good employees, too (fewer than 3% of US corporations have any kind of onsite daycare, and the average cost of licensed daycare is $1,200/mo). Just remember, there is no "economic man" without "conscientious mother." Bill G. seems to know this -- his multimillion gift to Harvard of a computing center is named after his mother.
posted by lisatmh at 7:47 PM on March 2, 2002


Besides, jellybuzz, makes the assumption that a man who has lost 6 billion dollars is still the richest man in the universe. The universe is a very large place, and we may not be alone. Draw your own conclusions.

The conclusion I draw is that you can't read. Jellybuzz said "the known universe." Name an alien billionaire.
posted by rodii at 11:18 AM on March 3, 2002


« Older Another Dave Eggers hoax?...  |  The Most Invasive Advertisemen... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments