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My life is good, you old bat!!
October 21, 2005 2:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm the 24,519,565 richest person on earth! According to the Global Rich List, which says I make more than 99.506% of the people alive today. Only 24.5 million people between Bill Gates & myself...
posted by jonson (90 comments total)

 
666,338,940.
posted by jokeefe at 2:24 PM on October 21, 2005


Yet another device which confuses wealth and income. Pretty neat otherwise, I guess.
posted by Kwantsar at 2:24 PM on October 21, 2005


50,367,595 for me =(

If only I could be as non-poor as jonson...
posted by AspectRatio at 2:26 PM on October 21, 2005


I checked, but it said I made $45.13 an hour, which doesn't compute, so I don't trust the rest of it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:27 PM on October 21, 2005


It asks for a donation even if you make only $91/year.
You are in the top 96.34% richest people in the world.
There are 219,277,108 people poorer than you.
How do you feel about that? A bit richer we hope. Please consider donating just a small amount to help some of the poorest people in the world. Many of their lives could be improved dramatically or even saved if you donate just one hour's salary (approx $0.06)
posted by riffola at 2:28 PM on October 21, 2005


Yeah, ok, I get it: I make more money than a lot of other people. But my neighbor - now there's a guy who makes a lot of money!
posted by billysumday at 2:30 PM on October 21, 2005


I'm richer than my landlord, apparently. Poor guy doesn't even have a job.
posted by ryanrs at 2:35 PM on October 21, 2005


52,521,565
posted by mds35 at 2:36 PM on October 21, 2005


It tops out at USD 200k, where it says "There are 5,999,892,435 people poorer than you." Anything higher and it just says "You are in the top 0,001% richest people in the world. You don¹t need to know any more than that (and besides our calculator can't do sums that big)."

Lame.
posted by JParker at 2:40 PM on October 21, 2005


I could have sworn this was a double but I can't find it now.

Anyway, it would be a lot more accurate if it included debt as well as income. Or broke it down further so you could see where you rank within a nation instead of across the entire globe.
posted by fenriq at 2:43 PM on October 21, 2005


I checked, but it said I made $45.13 an hour, which doesn't compute, so I don't trust the rest of it.

It assumes that you work 8 hours a day, four days a week, with two months vacation. Typical American job.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:43 PM on October 21, 2005


Two MONTHS?

I want your job!
posted by Mikey-San at 2:44 PM on October 21, 2005


*adjusts Mikey-San's sarcasm meter*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:49 PM on October 21, 2005


It assumes that you work 8 hours a day, four days a week, with two months vacation. Typical American job.

Are you serious?
posted by TBoneMcCool at 2:49 PM on October 21, 2005


It dosn't tell you how many people are richer then me, only the number of poorer people. It said I was in the top 2.5%, so I suppose I could do the math myself, but I won't.
posted by delmoi at 2:51 PM on October 21, 2005


yep it's a double.
posted by glenwood at 2:52 PM on October 21, 2005


Are you serious?

Google tells me that the typical American works 40% more.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:53 PM on October 21, 2005


Start living like you're in the top 2.5%, delmoi. Shit, bra, you can afford to pay someone in the third world to do your math.
posted by eatitlive at 2:54 PM on October 21, 2005


Yeah, how about I enter my total debt amount, and see how I owe more than 99.9% of people in the world! Let's see those debt-free kiddies in third world countries beat THAT!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:55 PM on October 21, 2005


Google tells me that the typical American works 40% more.

*cough* 66% more. 47 hours a week with 12 days vacation.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:58 PM on October 21, 2005


Sheesh, I'm only the 53,957,565th richest. That's downright poor compared to a big shot like jonson.
posted by clevershark at 3:01 PM on October 21, 2005


Frighteningly, I'm in the top 0.779%. I sure don't feel like it, even with very little debt. Cost of living is high here in LA. I'm not in the top 10% of income here in the US...

I knew most of the world was much poorer than the US, but it feels awfully strange to be, statistically, one of the richest people in the world. I can't realistically afford to make payments on a Mercedes, or to even buy a house within 50 miles of my current apartment (using the 28% income guideline, I can afford about a $200K house - try finding one of THOSE in LA county!).

Something tells me most of the people who make around the same as I do are completely strung out in debt... which means they are, in a way, slaves.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:02 PM on October 21, 2005


I'm unclear on the concept here. Can I then ask anyone who makes more money than me, for money?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:06 PM on October 21, 2005


I am richer than all of you thus far. Woooooooo.

Ok that was inappropriate.
posted by glenwood at 3:06 PM on October 21, 2005


I can toss you a fin, Smed. But that's about all I can toss you. The rest o'you louts, ask someone else!
posted by zoogleplex at 3:07 PM on October 21, 2005


Jonson makes $132,000 a year, by the way.

Tee hee.
posted by glenwood at 3:11 PM on October 21, 2005


WTF. I just saw this on digg, and now I see it here? I thought we were above that.

You are in the top 0.719% richest people in the world.
There are 5,956,812,435 people poorer than you.
posted by SirOmega at 3:12 PM on October 21, 2005


This would be alot more useful if you could automatically email all of the people who are higher up on the list and ask them for money.

zoogleplex, the only $200K houses I know of in LA have serious crackhead infestations.
posted by fenriq at 3:15 PM on October 21, 2005


SirOmega, the best way to avoid that problem is to never ever visit any other websites.
posted by fenriq at 3:15 PM on October 21, 2005


Anyway, is this thing calibrated against per capita income? If I divide my household income by the number of people living off of it, I'm out of the top 10%...
posted by Zurishaddai at 3:18 PM on October 21, 2005


I'm richer than my landlord, apparently. Poor guy doesn't even have a job.

Yep, and boy does that help us at tax time! ;-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:21 PM on October 21, 2005


glenwood Yeah I did that too. Stoped when I realized he was between 130k and 140k
posted by jeblis at 3:25 PM on October 21, 2005


I was in the top 7% the first time. Several seconds later my SAME salary had me in the top 10%.
posted by IronLizard at 3:27 PM on October 21, 2005


.001% Suck it, haters.
posted by mullacc at 3:28 PM on October 21, 2005


I'm richer than my landlord, apparently. Poor guy doesn't even have a job.

Right on !
posted by elpapacito at 3:29 PM on October 21, 2005


glenwood and jeblis: I wouldn't be so sure about jonson's income. He says
"...I'm the 24,519,565 richest … I make more than 99.506%..."
Ergo population is slightly less than 5 billion

But riffola's $91/yr test (at least I hope it was only a test!) results in:
"...the top 96.34% richest … 219,277,108 people poorer than you."
Ergo population is 6 billion

SirOmega's example bears out riffola's math:
"... top 0.719% richest... 5,956,812,435 people poorer"
Ergo population base for the calculations is 6 billion.

Maybe jonson should have outsourced the math on his FPP to some less economically advantaged math major.
posted by JParker at 3:31 PM on October 21, 2005


The truly rich have incomes off this scale and an hourly rate of "#DIV/0!" (in Excel parlance). Income from assets trumps the hell out of income from salary.
posted by mullacc at 3:31 PM on October 21, 2005


Nice way to brag about your income, jonson. Prick.
posted by drstrangelove at 3:37 PM on October 21, 2005


5,307,787,839

I win because I have more digits.
posted by atom128 at 3:38 PM on October 21, 2005


5,951,355,635 people poorer than me.

Peons.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:40 PM on October 21, 2005


I'm going to start outsourcing my poops.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:41 PM on October 21, 2005


The hourly wage calculator appears to be assuming that people work 1440 hours annually as opposed to the US norm 2080 workhours/annum.
posted by jungturk at 3:44 PM on October 21, 2005


mullacc: right on. I would trade $5 of pay for $1 of income from a conservative portfolio - like T-Bills - any day.
posted by JParker at 3:51 PM on October 21, 2005


So all it took was a few lines of javascript to get everyone to compare dick size in the world economy shower?
posted by ori at 3:55 PM on October 21, 2005


s/was/were
posted by ori at 3:56 PM on October 21, 2005


I think I'll go rob jonson now.

Just kidding of course. It would apparently be much more profitable to rob mullacc!
posted by clevershark at 4:04 PM on October 21, 2005


s#s/was/were##
posted by kcm at 4:05 PM on October 21, 2005


You've all given away exactly how much you earn. From which I can only conclude that... this place is packed with capitalist pigs! wealthy elitist liberals! shameless, the lot of you. I am so going to turn right wing just out of spite.

(Actually, I am in the top that cannot be measured.

I am Robbie Williams. What the richest of you makes in a year, I keep stashed in $100 notes just for recreational uses. Take that, you suckers.)
posted by funambulist at 4:12 PM on October 21, 2005


Also, while I'm snarking on the math here, I call bullshit on the whole site. At USD 200,001 it says "You are in the top 0,001% richest people in the world."

If there are 6 billion people in the world, that means they think there's only 60,000 people making more than $200k in the world.

One has only to look at the LCurve to see that to make it into the top 1% of family incomes in the US alone requires $300,000 in annual income. In 1997 over 144,000 tax returns were filed with adjusted gross incomes of $1 million or more.

Conclusion: You're not as rich as this site makes you think you are.
posted by JParker at 4:17 PM on October 21, 2005


You're not as rich as this site makes you think you are.

You mean I'm even more poor than the site thinks I am?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:21 PM on October 21, 2005


JParker, I think they divide by family members, income per capita, not income per family.
posted by caddis at 4:25 PM on October 21, 2005


No, I took that into account. You think the 144,000 people who filed tax returns with over $1,000,000 in income averaged more than 5 family members per tax return? And that's only the US of A. My bullshit call still stands.
posted by JParker at 4:30 PM on October 21, 2005


I'm unemployed ($0 income).

Sorry, if you earn less than $90 a year we are unable to calculate your position on the richlist.

If this is the case you would be one of the billions of people who earn less than $2 a day. Typically you would also not have access to a computer or an Internet connection.


Of course, I have savings and assets that allow me to be somewhat comfortable, but I don't suppose they count for that.

Give me money.
posted by pathighgate at 4:38 PM on October 21, 2005


My bullshit call still stands.
posted by JParker at 4:30 PM PST on October 21 [!]


Does that mean I have to give zoogleplex his five bucks back?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:46 PM on October 21, 2005


Good point JParker, they're a little off. But on the scale of $0 to $50 billion (which L-Curve reports as Bill Gates's highest annual income to date) I don't think it's that significant, in terms of absolute dollars. Still, it does us good to pay attention to that.

Someone who is making $300,000 salary a year here in the US is nearly at the same level wealth-wise as I am, in comparison to the people who are REALLY wealthy, and is probably working a lot harder than I am!

Though I tell ya, I can sure feel that difference...

Adding the L-Curve to this calculator is quite instructive; using the L-Curve's median US household income of $40,000, we get:
You are in the top 0.911% richest people in the world.
There are 5,945,324,435 people poorer than you.
So, any American household that brings home $40K or more is in the top 1% richest in the whole world, a group of some 60 million people - and I'd bet almost all of those 60 million are American, European, or Japanese.

Those 144,000 Americans who make more than $1 million comprise only 0.0024% of the world population. I read somewhere, forgive me but I can't find it at the moment, that the US, with 6% of the population, has something like 89% of the wealth in the world, and that of Americans, the top 10% of the population have something like 50% of that wealth.

So yeah, if you're not making more than about $1 million a year - and preferably getting that income solely through investments and income from things you own (like apartment buildings or businesses) as opposed to working a job - you are much, much poorer than you think you are, no matter how nice your house and car are.

If you didn't pay cash for it, you don't really own it, and thus you're not really wealthy.

Smed, you can keep the fin, no worries. I'll just have a bologna sammich for lunch one day next week. :)
posted by zoogleplex at 4:51 PM on October 21, 2005


The PDF linked from the L-Curve page has some impressive info as well:
Abstract. – Personal income distribution in the USA has a well-defined two-class structure. The majority of population (97–99%) belongs to the lower class characterizedb y the exponential Boltzmann-Gibbs (“thermal”) distribution, whereas the upper class (1–3% of the population) has a Pareto power law (“superthermal”) distribution. By analyzing income data for 1983– 2001, we show that the “thermal” part is stationary in time, save for a gradual increase of the effective temperature, whereas the “superthermal” tail swells and shrinks following the stock market. We discuss the concept of equilibrium inequality in a society, based on the principle of maximal entropy, and quantitatively show that it applies to the majority of population
97-99% "lower class." Yeah, no wonder things are going the way they are.

The really wealthy are that 1-3%.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:01 PM on October 21, 2005


But the real problem with a calculation like this is that the same $1 doesn't have the same actual spending value everywhere on the planet.

So ultimately knowing there's 5 billion people who earn less than $10,000 a year isn't going to tell you exactly how they all live.

144,000 Americans

Now that's a creepy number.
posted by funambulist at 5:01 PM on October 21, 2005


Heh, wow... if you put in $500, you are at the 79.9 percent mark... and then at $5000, you are at 14.1 percent.

Quite a leap!
posted by zoogleplex at 5:03 PM on October 21, 2005


funambulist, the corollary to that is that if you can live at a similar standard of living in some other country for 1/10 what you spend here in the US, this means the "real world" value of everything is drastically inflated here in the US.

Which is to be expected, if we have most of the money.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:04 PM on October 21, 2005


This is truly hilarious. Ah, but if we could have such riches.
posted by Eric123 at 5:11 PM on October 21, 2005


It can't handle not having any income. But my friend has no income this year - just savings.
posted by jb at 5:13 PM on October 21, 2005


For wealth distribution in the US, check out this comment of mine (alongwith the thread).
posted by Gyan at 5:22 PM on October 21, 2005


Suck it losers, I'm richer than many of you!!! Unless you count friends & loved ones, which I don't, cause you can't buy Snickers with friends & loved ones!!!!!
posted by jonson at 5:38 PM on October 21, 2005


zoogleplex writes "Frighteningly, I'm in the top 0.779%. I sure don't feel like it, even with very little debt. Cost of living is high here in LA. I'm not in the top 10% of income here in the US..."


Zoo darling, you're making 70k per year. That puts you pretty high up. If I were making that kind of salary, I'd feel pretty darn rich. Granted, my small town *is* cheaper than LA, but still.

(in the top 10.3%)
posted by Deathalicious at 5:43 PM on October 21, 2005


this is the in denial thread. make of it what you will.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:50 PM on October 21, 2005


Ah, that's a good one, Gyan.

So what your graph says that:

10% of America - 28 million people - has 77.5% of the real wealth, stated as positive net worth;

1% of America - 2.8 million people - has 43.3% of the real wealth;

and 0.5% of America 1.4 million people - has 34.2% of the real wealth.

So, 90% of America - that's 252 million people, folks - have 22.5% of the real wealth.

And since wealth = power in the capitalist West... the shots are pretty much being called by that top 1.4 million people.

Your share of the wealth, if you're in the 90%, is roughly .00000009%. Yep, you're pretty damn poor.

Gyan, do you know at what the actual dollar income at the 90th percentile break point is?

on preview: Deathalicious, Yeah, in the relative scheme of things, I really shouldn't have much to complain about, huh? But seriously, even with relatively low rent and low vehicle expenses for LA, I have trouble actually saving money; most of it gets spent. That was last year's income too, this year it will be more like $60K, and I'm actually feeling some pinch, my monthly required cash out is pretty close to my net income. I'm not a spendthrift, I'm pretty good with my money - I spent the last 5 years paying off a rather large debt, so I know how to keep things tight, and I don't buy a lot of the usual consumer crap.

And so, it really boggles me that I can't afford a house in a livable neighborhood anywhere within about 60 miles of my job... though I might be able to find a condo somewhere, I guess. At this point I'd rather rent than owe $200K on anything anyway. At least I have no credit debt and can put a little bit away every month.

Also, my job is such that doing what I do, I can't make this kind of money anywhere that it's cheap to live.

I don't think I'm alone in this. I honestly don't know how some of the people I know in my business, at the same income level, can support their lifestyles, with new cars and flashy clothes etc. I guess my now-near-pathological abhorrence of credit debt makes a big difference. :)
posted by zoogleplex at 6:09 PM on October 21, 2005


Did I miss something? This is based solely on annual income? No consideration for material assets, savings, funds, investments?

What a total waste of time.
posted by Decani at 6:11 PM on October 21, 2005


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

My penis is enormous.

Also, this thing is really bad with hourly salary estimations.
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:41 PM on October 21, 2005


I admit it. Above photo is a total fake.
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:44 PM on October 21, 2005


But the penis remark was totally accurate.

As was the complaint about the hourly rate estimations, and numerous complaints made about wealth v. income.

posted by I Love Tacos at 6:46 PM on October 21, 2005


Okay, the penis remark wasn't accurate either, but I make a mean taco. I'd wager my taco-making skills are in the top 0.1%.
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:47 PM on October 21, 2005


zoogleplex, the graph represents 1995 figures concerning net wealth excluding prinicipal residences. My linked comment tabulates 2001 figures of net wealth including principal residence.

Here's the "money shot" (sorry, couldn't resist)

Wealth Distribution in the US, 2001

Make the assumptions and do the math.
posted by Gyan at 6:49 PM on October 21, 2005


What kind of Socialists wrote this tool!!

A 28 hour work week! I haven't worked less than 40 more than a few times in the last 3 years. I could work 2 jobs if I only worked 28 hours a week.

perhaps thats why foreigners always seem lazy and shiftless to Americans. Because they are!

28 hours!
perhaps the world wouldn't be so poor if they got of their butts and worked a little bit.
posted by Megafly at 6:52 PM on October 21, 2005


Here's the definitions of the terms above. Click thumbnail for full image.

Definitions of terms in the above image
posted by Gyan at 6:56 PM on October 21, 2005


Megafly writes "perhaps the world wouldn't be so poor if they got of their butts and worked a little bit."

Um, yeah, I don't know what aliens came up with a 1440-hour workyear either, but I'm guessing the very poor work a lot more than that anyways. If you look at developing countries, it's not unusual to be looking at something closer to a 2500-2600 hour workyear for the truly poor.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:06 PM on October 21, 2005


Must be those idle rich people bringing down the average.
posted by clevershark at 7:08 PM on October 21, 2005


Megafly writes "perhaps thats why foreigners always seem lazy and shiftless to Americans. Because they are!"

Oh, and considering how the current system seems to be so good at pooling wealth at the top, maybe there's something to be said for working a bit less. Last year, I willingly took 2 weeks of unpaid vacation, just because I wanted the time to travel. Now, I was lucky enough to have a boss who was cool with that. But I think it would really improve the US a million times over if everyone took at least a month's vacation, if not 6 weeks. And, ideally, that time would be sent travelling abroad, so that Americans might have a better sense of the rest of the world. I mean, I've travelled a lot and it's embarasisng how little it is in comparison to most people from the rest of the world, who routinely go to other countries.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:09 PM on October 21, 2005



Everyone, and I mean everyone I know that makes over 125k up to about 300k is putting in some enormous hours at their job (90+ hours.) They are wired for it.

I just took a pay chop by changing positions; with that I am no longer working 70+ hours a week, am started work on my masters even though I am graying (so the rate of return is less than if I was 30-something) and am enjoying myself a great deal more. Wish I had the $$ but I do not miss the hours on the grind.

Show me the position that rakes in the dough but doesn't take your life.

Then show me the calculator that figures quality of life when compared to your income.

*steps off soap box, turns off light*
posted by fluffycreature at 7:35 PM on October 21, 2005


*receives purchase orders for outsourced contract labor from mr_crash_davis*

*blinks wildly, doing a double-take at the sums on the contract*

*begin furiously shovelling pure bran, oats and shredded wheat into pie hole, washing it down with broccoli extract juice and bean paste*
posted by loquacious at 7:53 PM on October 21, 2005


Fenriq, there are no $200,000 houses in the SF Bay Area. The cheapest standalone house I could find within 20 miles of the bay is listed at $350K. And it's a small (800 s.f.) dump, in a crack war zone in Oakland. And it will probably sell for more than asking.

Actually livable houses start around $500K.
posted by surlycat at 1:14 AM on October 22, 2005


... Wow, I'm really quite poor.

Fuckers, all of you.

BTW: When is PP going to jump in and brag about how much he makes?
posted by Talanvor at 2:25 AM on October 22, 2005


because you can't buy Snickers with friends & loved ones!!!!!
posted by jonson at 5:38 PM PST on October 21 [!]


Maybe you could ask your friends and loved ones to give you Snickers?
posted by jb at 3:59 AM on October 22, 2005


Meh. At least I'm well hung, like I Love Tacos.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:29 AM on October 22, 2005


"Everyone, and I mean everyone I know that makes over 125k up to about 300k is putting in some enormous hours at their job (90+ hours.) They are wired for it."


OK Jonson. Fess up and refute.
posted by grumpyoldman at 2:17 PM on October 22, 2005


Honestly, you don't want to know. I have a very nice job, let's leave it at that. But then again, as shown above, I'm on the very low end of that spectrum (125 - 300K/year). And I AM more work oriented than many people, but remarkably less so than most of my co-workers.
posted by jonson at 2:39 PM on October 22, 2005


Sounds like you're an A&R Guy, jonson! :D

I work at a video game company, so we have a lot of guys who practically live at work for not too much more than I make. Crunch time is brutal on the programmers, I have no idea why they accept it... but I appreciate their dedication. Our company is small so we're all pretty intimately involved in and passionate about making great games.

My position is busy at the front end of the process and isn't so "mission critical" to a game working properly, so my work week is only a bit more than the standard.
posted by zoogleplex at 8:14 PM on October 22, 2005


perhaps thats why foreigners always seem lazy and shiftless to Americans. Because they are!

That's right. No you go back to alienating your family and working on that premature cardiac while me and my lazy Euro buddies plan our next three-month work break. Right after the two-week skiing holiday, I fancy.

Man, we suck. You go, America! Tote that bale. You number one!
posted by Decani at 8:36 AM on October 23, 2005


Why do people insist on saying you're rich because you have a high salary, when salaries can disappear overnight on the whim of your boss?

Wouldn't it be better to measure wealth, aka value of monies and assets currently held? On that score, I'm fairly certain a lot of Americans are far lower on the chain than you'd think (seeing as how we don't save much) -- and you might (rightly) find that a retired 70-year-old with $50,000 in the bank and $200,000 in home equity is wealthier than a 30-year-old with $1,000 in the bank and who rents...
posted by davejay at 12:43 PM on October 23, 2005


No
posted by Mr T at 12:15 AM on November 14, 2005


I'm the 4,795,180,723 richest person on earth!
posted by Grod at 10:52 AM on November 14, 2005


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