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Eight Billionaires Own The Same As Poorest 50 Per Cent Of The World

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Eight Billionaires Own The Same As Poorest 50 Per Cent Of The World

Oxfam has claimed that the top eight billionaires in the world have the same amount of money as the poorest half of the world.

This wealth and poverty report comes hot on the heels of news that Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg earned almost £4 billion in the first two weeks of January 2017. And I thought I was doing well by not binge shopping in the January sales.

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Oxfam gets its info from Credit Suisse so it's totally legit, but Ben Southwood, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute, told the BBC he disagreed with the interpretation of the data. He thinks we should focus more on the fact that the welfare of the world's poorest which improves each year, and not on the fact that some people are so rich they literally could not spend it all if they tried and are hoarding that money like Smaug and gold.

My words, not Ben's.

Personally I think that maybe the rich people are rich at the expense of the poor people but I'm not a financial analyst, and thank god for that.

It's crazy to think that eight people have as much money as the poor half of the world. And think what they could do if they spent their money on those poor people.

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So who are the billionaires and do they care about people less fortunate than themselves?

Window's Bill Gates

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Coming in at number one, who has a personal fortune of around £70 billion... Bill is at the top of the pile. Bill seems like a nice guy, he does a lot of charitable work and in 2000 set up his own foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In the last 17 years, he's donated around £26 billion to his foundation, as have his other rich mates like Warren Buffett. That's pretty generous.

Inditex founder Amancio Ortega

OK, Inditex may sound like a boring company but it's actually the umbrella that has several Spanish fashion brands like Zara. And thanks to Zara's immense popularity, Amancio comes in at around £65 billion. I have contributed a lot to this man's riches.

The Warren Buffett

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Famous investor Warren Buffett has almost £60 billion, but the 86-year-old gave away 2.9 billion away to charity last year. Let's see what he does this year.

Mexico's Carlos Slim

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He used to be the richest man in the world until 2013, but Carlos is still worth £47 billion. The business magnate and investor has given away £4 billion in the last few years. He's definitely the billionaire with the best name, even if he's been knocked off his number one spot.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos

We all use Amazon for their fast deliveries so it's no surprise the boss is worth a cool £42 billion. The founder and CEO of Amazon has been accused of being stingy with his money, but he set up a charitable foundation in 2003 which his parents run.

Mark Zuckerberg

The Facebook founder is worth £44 billion and he and his wife pledged to donate 99 per cent of their Facebook salaries to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to "advance human potential". That's pretty cool, but I think Facebook is distracting most people from advancing their human potential - or is that just me?

Oracle's Larry Ellison

I had to Google Oracle but apparently it does computer software. It's brought the founder and former CEO a cool £40 billion. Props.

Larry's said he's going to donate 95 per cent of his wealth to charity and has already given a cancer treatment centre £100 million. Sounds like a nice guy.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Both a politician and a businessman, Michael comes in at £38 billion. His website goes on a lot about how he gave his college £5 immediately after he graduated to the point I wondered if that was the extent of his philanthropy. But the former mayor has donated £4 billion to date.

I think they're doing quite well on the philanthropy front - I'll be keeping my eye on them.

However, my meagre bank account is feeling very paltry right now.

Words by Laura Hamiliton

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Rich, Facebook, bill gates, world, Mark Zuckerberg

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