Living in a material world with the richest 1 per cent 83



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It’s official: the rich are getting richer.

In news this past week, it was revealed in a new report that soon the world’s richest 1 per cent will have as much wealth as the remaining 99 per cent combined.

It truly makes you wonder why that money hasn’t already stopped world hunger and cured a myriad of diseases.

According to Oxfam’s executive director Winnie Byanyima, “The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering; and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast,” she said. But who really are the 1 per cent?

It’s a no brainer that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, plus tycoons, celebrities and royals are in the 1 per cent but they are just a fraction of the 47 million people in the world who have wealth of $798,000 or more.

Someone reading this might now may be considered as part of the 1 per cent as they simply own their house outright or have paid out over $798,000 of their mortgage.

So what is the country with the most people in the world’s wealthiest 1 per cent? The US. Australia is trailing behind America’s 18 million people, with 1.8 million of the richest humans on Earth.

Here is a chart by Credit Swisse to show the other countries with citizens who have more money than we could ever dream of:

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 11.08.07 pm

It is staggering to think of how much accumulated wealth the 47 million people have but is it their prerogative to keep it? Does money really make someone happy enough?

CNN journalist James Wallman wrote a great piece a few days ago about the more you own, the less happy you are. He talked of a friend “Pete” who was the sort of person who would never look at price tags, has pieces of art worth more than a house in an inner city suburb and yet he isn’t happy. He made a poignant point: “It’s the story of our materialistic consumer society. Just as the have-nots aspire to catch up with the haves, so the haves look up to the have-yachts. It doesn’t matter who you are, you still want to catch up with, keep up with, and get ahead of the Joneses”.

We want what we don’t have and now we’re a materialistic society, we display wealth through what we have, instead of what we are. Our personalities have been replaced with the size of our house or the watch on our wrist.

James also said that “millions of us spend too much time worrying about our place in the pecking order, and scheming to get up the ladders and avoid the snakes. The result is millions of us left wanting, even though we have pretty much all we desire”.

And isn’t that so true. I saw a quote once that said the only thing that is always guaranteed to be worth the money is travel and expanding your mind beyond material possessions.


Let’s put it to you – what do you think? Does money equal happiness? Are material possessions enough to feel content or is it experiences and giving to others? Do you think the world’s wealthiest should hand over their money and end world hunger? Or do they deserve to do what they like with their riches?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Not even bothering with this one..a lot rich people will come squealing about clever they are and putting down the poor.. let them ramble on I could not care less what these people with no empathy think

    1 REPLY
    • How true Leanne. Nothing we can do about this. It would be nice if the rich people could stop world hunger. When I have my dinner I think how lucky I am to had it and often think of some hungry child in the world. I would like to give to charity but there is so many it’s so hard which ones to donate to and I’m a pensioner do I couldn’t afford much. Xx

  2. When you look around at the “rich” they don’t seem happy and their children need a good dose of reality!
    Money really is the “root of all evil”. People with a lot of money will always have alot to say about how clever they are and how hard the worked! I just hope they never lose it could you imagine Gina doing a proper days work in her life??

    9 REPLY
    • your right about that and many of these wealthy Liberal supporters seem bitter people to me, they have no empathy, never a kind word for anyone

    • Actually she works 24/7 if neccessary, most ambitious people do. I dont like her but probably, I do admire her strength…Most of us are just jealous that we weren’t so blessed…lol..It’s all about chance…:-)

    • No Libby, money is not the root of all evil. If you are going to use quotes, try to use them correctly. The quote is “The love of money is the root of all evil” and that is correct. So much good is done with money, as well as those who love it so much and do evil.

    • Sorry but I’m not jealous of her or her cronies! I cant think of anything worse. Mind I do enjoy an alternative lifestyle as opposed to a lifestyle full of things? However, I am VERY jealous of the likes of Jane Goodall and the likes of her!!

    • There’s nothing to be jealous of Gina….. She inherited her wealth & doesn’t understand what it means to HAVE to work to survive.

    • You have to be in it to win it and i never buy a ticket. Believe it or not Graeme not everyone is motivated by money!!

      1 REPLY
      • I don’t gamble either Libby. I’m not very anyway.

  3. Can’t buy health and happiness. Happiness comes where the heart is. Couldn’t care less about wealthy people who flaunt it.

  4. Wealth cannot buy you a happy home or a loving family. Gina Reinhart is a good example of that..she has more money that she can ever use and still she tried to rip her children off. I believe they are taking back to court again

  5. I am sure the homeless people in our country would like to have a place to call home. Maybe some of the wealth could be used to build homes for them to live in.

    4 REPLY
    • These wealthy people could be doing a lot for Australia and Australian’s and in doing so leave a legacy for themselves that Australian’s will remember..instead they hoard more money than they can ever spend and look in contempt at the rest of us

    • lets tear down the wealthy im sure the unions or the unem ployed wiill provide jobs once the rich are gone..just remeber 90% of our super rich were born poor dont envy them do something with your life

    • I dont begruge anyone for having money when they have worked for it but not alk wealthy people were born poor. Some people work hard all their life yet never become wealthy and others seem to fall on their feet easily.

  6. Would be nice to have a bit more but you get by I agree with Libbi Elliot I hope those kids take Gina to court again if that’s what money does to you I wouldn’t want it why does she want so much ? She should share it around a bit I say

  7. The 1% don’t share power.

    1 REPLY
    • The one percent are the power the rest of us just put up with stupid decision made by equally stupid politicians who di exactly what the 1% want them to do …your vote cant stop that.

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