The concentration of wealth in the hands of a privileged elite has long been a subject of concern and scrutiny, with the gap between the poor increasingly widening.
The impact of the gap is highlighted by the fact that the combined net worth of America’s wealthiest individuals now eclipses the total economic output of over 100 countries.
In particular, data acquired and calculated by Finbold indicates that as of June 2023, the top ten wealthiest people in the United States collectively possess a net worth of $1.005 trillion. This amount has surpassed the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the 106 poorest countries, which stands at $998.2 billion, by $7.6 billion.
Breaking down the wealth of the individuals, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, holds the top position with a fortune worth $180 billion. Following closely behind is Jeff Bezos, the founder and former CEO of Amazon, with a net worth of $114 billion, while Larry Ellison of Oracle claims the third spot with $107 billion.
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates occupy the fourth and fifth positions, respectively, with wealth amounting to $106 billion and $104 billion.
Other individuals making up the top ten richest Americans include Michael Bloomberg ($94.5 billion), Steve Ballmer ($80.7 billion), Larry Page ($79.2 billion), Sergey Brin ($76 billion), and Mark Zuckerberg ($64.4 billion).
The implication of wealth disparity
The report highlighted the implication of the existing wealth gap between America’s richest and the global economy. According to the research report:
“While wealth accumulation is not inherently negative, the chasm between the richest and the poorest is symptomatic of broader structural issues within societies and the global economy. The lack of economic mobility, and limited access to education, healthcare, and basic necessities for those in impoverished nations, further exacerbate this imbalance.”
Indeed, the wealthy few have received criticism in the past for taking advantage of existing systems to accumulate wealth. Moving forward, progressive taxation policies are being touted as one way to minimize the existing gap.