Stop Comparing Yourself To Billionaires Because You Made A Million

You’re financially closer to a homeless person on the street

Karen Banes


Image by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It’s slowly becoming apparent to me why people defend billionaires, and see nothing immoral in the way they operate. It’s not just that they too aspire to be billionaires. It’s that they genuinely think they have something in common with them.

When journalists criticise billionaires, and point out how immoral it is to hoard that much money in a world where they could be solving collective problems, the people who defend them are not poor people. They are affluent people. Some of them are millionaires.

Becoming a ‘self-made’ millionaire is not easy. But it’s also not that hard, if you come from a reasonably affluent family, that provides you with an excellent education, an inheritance or two, a leg-up when it comes to getting on the property ladder, and plenty of good advice on how to manage your finances.

There are almost 22,000,000 millionaires in the USA, but only 614 billionaires.

Yet the millionaires have this crazy notion that they are the same as the billionaires. That they somehow have something in common with them. That when billionaires are criticised, they should take it personally, because they too have money.

They really shouldn’t.

A millionaire has a net worth of $1,000,000. A billionaire has a net worth of $1,000,000,000. An ordinary billionaire (not a multi-billionaire like Bezos or Musk) has a thousand times more wealth than a millionaire. This means that a millionaire is not only closer to a homeless guy on the street (financially speaking) than he is to a billionaire. He is literally a thousand times closer to the guy on the street than he is to a billionaire.

Being a multi-billionaire is often seen as immoral, because of the amount of suffering in the world that could be rectified with enough money. It’s been estimated that we (as a planet) need around $330 billion to end world hunger, so a handful of the richest multi-billionaires could club together and do that quite easily, if they so chose.

It’s hard to see how it is ethical to hold that amount, while ignoring the issue of human suffering…



Karen Banes

Freelance writer sharing thoughts on life, society, creativity, and productivity.