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Bill Gates No Longer World's Richest Man

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the well-that's-so-sad dept.

Microsoft 413

alphadogg writes "Riding surging prices of his various telecom holdings, including giant mobile outfit America Movil, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu has beaten out Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth and nab the top spot on the 2010 Forbes list of the World's Billionaires." I'd still let the guy buy me dinner if he's ever in my town. He's probably still good for it even though he's fallen on hard times.

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413 comments

Wonderful news (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437082)

FTA:

Indeed, last year's wealth wasteland has become a billionaire bonanza. Most of the richest people on the planet have seen their fortunes soar in the past year.

When I'm laid off and searching garbage cans for food, it will bring me great comfort to know that at least someone is doing well.

Re:Wonderful news (1, Funny)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437116)

I am also glad that taxpayer-funded stimulus is helping all Americans instead of just the wealthy political elite.

Re:Wonderful news (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437164)

Anyone who had money (or put money) in stocks last spring had a nice 2009.

(Well, unless they concentrated that money in a few bad choices)

Re:Wonderful news (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437486)

When you have as much money as these guys have it's pretty hard to concentrate it in only a few choices period, much less bad ones :) Buffet often laments that his company has so much money that it's difficult to maintain good returns through investments.

Re:Wonderful news (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437596)

Oh, I understand, I was just conceding that the guy with $5,000 invested in an S&P 500 index fund had a better year than the guy with $5,000 invested in Metro PCS.

Re:Wonderful news (3, Funny)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437710)

Buffet often laments that his company has so much money that it's difficult to maintain good returns through investments.

If you see him, please let him know that I can fix that problem for him.

Re:Wonderful news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437240)

hahhaAHaHHA ha ha .... ha..

Re:Wonderful news (3, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437124)

When I'm laid off and searching garbage cans for food, it will bring me great comfort to know that at least someone is doing well.

It should, because if everyone were poor the world would be an even nastier place.

Re:Wonderful news (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437158)

Yes, it's nice to have a handful of super-wealthy people to ensure that not EVERYONE is poor.

Re:Wonderful news (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437216)

No way, that's not fair, if I'm going to poor then everyone will be!

Re:Wonderful news (2)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437328)

The U.S. billionaires have a combined wealth of about $1.4 trillion.

Medicare and social security spending last year was about $1.15 trillion (those aren't actually particularly good proxies for 'not wealthy', but they do illustrate where a good chunk of the U.S. GDP goes). It is somewhat safe to assume that poor and middle class people spent $4 or $5 trillion.

So the super wealthy certainly benefit more than everyone else, but it is absurd to assert that they are keeping other people poor when their combined wealth, earned over lifetimes, is much less than 'normal' (by any reasonable measure) Americans spend each year.

Re:Wonderful news (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437488)

Yes, it's nice to have a handful of super-wealthy people to ensure that not EVERYONE is poor.

be careful, that sounds like socialist talk...

Re:Wonderful news (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437730)

I shall turn myself in to HUAC and report to Glenn Beck for my flogging immediately.

Re:Wonderful news (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437382)

It should, because if everyone were poor the world would be an even nastier place.

news flash 90% are poor. and the world IS a nasty place. because you live in a very rich country and dont see reality means you really have no idea.

Go spend 1 week with the poor of India, or in Afganastan, China, Korea, Russia, Mongolia, or anyplace in South america or Africa. THAT is poor, and that is what most of the people on this planet live like.

Re:Wonderful news (4, Funny)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437566)

Yes, but in all fairness... we have Detroit.

Re:Wonderful news (1, Interesting)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437640)

Fairness? You think Detroit compares to the poverty in the rest of the world? You're very delusional.

Re:Wonderful news (5, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437674)

And I guess that this is a good place to point out that Carlo Slim, the worlds richest man, made his money by having monopoly control of telecoms in Mexico (a poor country) and cell phones in 11 countries in Latin America (all poor). He is getting rich by collecting monopoly rents from the poor. Isn't crony capitalism wonderful?

Just think what good could come if he was not sucking all of that money out of all of those poor economies. They might even be able to save and invest and grow their economies. Instead, Carlos uses the money to expand into banking and other areas to make even more money for himself.

Re:Wonderful news (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437188)

Don't worry, Saint Reagan gives you his word that it will all trickle down eventually, if only your faith is pure and your marginal tax rate low...

Re:Wonderful news (2, Interesting)

wh1pp3t (1286918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437288)

Don't worry, Saint Reagan gives you his word that it will all trickle down eventually, if only your faith is pure and your marginal tax rate low...

IMHO, Reaganomics works only in a country where manufacturing is a strong industry (where the workers of the nation are actually needed); sadly, the USA no longer significantly 'makes' anything.

Re:Wonderful news (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437334)

I know it's really stretching the definition of "anything," but we still make movies and TV shows. Without the hard working people of American there would be no "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" or "Jersey Shore."

Re:Wonderful news (2, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437390)

Aren't a lot of TV shows made in Canada?

Re:Wonderful news (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437456)

Yes, because Jersey Shore is the epitome of the US film industry... I guess we should pack our shit and stop producing Movies and TV shows, some /.'r just showed our whole industry is a sham with his snarky 2 liner.

Re:Wonderful news (1)

wh1pp3t (1286918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437548)

I was speaking to manufacturing -- 'making' tangible goods. Agreed, we have a relatively huge entertainment industry, but it is very specific in nature and minuscule in size (number of people employed) compared to what we had in manufacturing and is primarily in California.
Manufacturing was once the backbone of the nation and employed the true blue-collar worker.

And yes, the good old US of A should be very proud of "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" and "Jersey Shore."

Re:Wonderful news (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437376)

Except that's patently false, US manufacturing output is much higher then it ever was before although fewer and fewer workers are employed in manufacturing. You also realize that 50%+ of Americans used to be farmers in the 1700s and now it's less than 5% right? As facilities become more automated, there will be a smaller and smaller need for manufacturing workers.

Re:Wonderful news (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437464)

Before World War II, the US was the leading exporter in the world. Now we are the biggest importer. Our output may be higher now (although I would need to see numbers to believe it), but it doesn't match the output of other countries.

Re:Wonderful news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437408)

Reaganomics works in a country where you don't have free trade. Free trade combined with trickle-down is what led to all the out sourcing and job losses. Innovation is second to cost reduction, that is firing people, in today's market.

Re:Wonderful news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437528)

I thought the US makes Intellectual Property, and secret global treaties to support them.

This ain't Reagan... (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437574)

this is old school politically connected rich. You want to see who has the best pensions, health care, and similar, look to those in government or connected to it.

The surest way to stay poor or just plain upset with life is to compare what you have to others, the first symptom is directing blame to those who are better off.

I am quite sure a garbage can surfer is not a /. surfer, if they are it probably explains the previous. Let alone, Obama and Co. decided trickle down was too inefficient of means to get money to Wall Street so they just send the checks directly.

Mr Monopoly (2, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437258)

TelMex controls 92% of the landline phones in the country and his affiliate cell phone business, Telcel, accounts for 73% of the mobile business. The wealth and power derived from these companies has allowed Slim to expand his business empire across a wide swathe of industries."

Monopolies are obviously highly profitable for a few. Besides the economic cost [maths.tcd.ie] to the those funding el imperio de Carlo Slim Helu, have the Mexicans actually weighed up the social costs of supporting it? [google.com] . ...Or is it that the Mexicans do not have a government that represents their best interests...? [google.com]

Re:Wonderful news (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437276)

When I read the headline I thought that maybe, just maybe, I'd moved up one position on the list. But alas, I'm still ranked at number 2,371,409,586. Maybe next year.

Re:Wonderful news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437304)

Pff. Everyone knows that you have to be in the top 2,000,000 and be level 40 or higher to be ranked.

Re:Wonderful news (1)

shakuni (644197) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437424)

Damn you beat me again...

Re:Wonderful news (1)

shakuni (644197) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437436)

Oops sorry i am ahead i missed a digit there

Re:Wonderful news (1, Insightful)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437352)

"Autre motif d'orgueuil, que d'être citoyen! Cela consiste pour les
pauvres à soutenir et à conserver les riches dans leur puissance et
leur oisivité. Ils y doivent travailler devant la majestueuse égalité
des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les
ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain."

"Another reason for pride, that of being a citizen! For the poor
citizenship consists of supporting and sustaining the power and
idleness of the rich. They must work for those goals before the
majestic equality of the laws, which forbids rich and poor alike to
sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread."

Anatole France, Le Lys Rouge

Re:Wonderful news (4, Interesting)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437466)

It doesn't bring a lot of comfort to the Mexicans in that situation. When I lived in Guadalajara, I was a short walk from a row of luxury car dealerships: Porsche, Lexus, Audi, BMW, etc. And I was a short bus ride from people living in dirt floor houses and not eating enough (I was involved in a Christian ministry to some of them).

I'm pretty conservative in general, but that doesn't seem like a healthy economy. It's not encouraging to think that the world's wealthiest person got that way through monopoly deals with a corrupt government whose citizenry is mostly poor.

Richest man in the graveyard? (1)

TofuMatt (1105351) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437086)

Having billions of dollars in chequing strikes me as incredibly insane.

Re:Richest man in the graveyard? (1)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437268)

No one has billions of dollars in chequing. These people have billions of dollars in investments. The mainstream media likes to talk about these investments in terms of dollars because it makes for cute headlines, but for the people involved I suspect it has more to do with control. Controlling billions of dollars worth of organizations means, for better or worse, you can help shape a sizeable chunk of the world.

Re:Richest man in the graveyard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437306)

Yeah, you'd think for $50 billion dollars he'd be able to get that hair off his ears.

Bill, look for the 500 million! (4, Funny)

spammeister (586331) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437092)

I'm sure he has 500 million in loose change lost in his couches.

Re:Bill, look for the 500 million! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437118)

He would be even richer if they had included the cocaine as an asset.

Re:Bill, look for the 500 million! (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437214)

Assets make money. Liabilities cost money.

Unless he's reselling the cocaine for profit, it's a liability.

Re:Bill, look for the 500 million! (2, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437270)

Unless he's reselling the cocaine for profit, it's a liability.

At least it'd be a familiar business model for him.

Re:Bill, look for the 500 million! (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437580)

I heard a rumor that he's been carefully studying John DeLorean's autobiography.

Re:Bill, look for the 500 million! (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437318)

Who? Gates or Helu?

Man.. (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437144)

...when people's losses equal more money than I will EVER have in my entire life...I become a sad panda :(

Re:Man.. (1)

sophomoric (1715780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437314)

Thanks to the stock market, Gates loses or makes more money in a day than you will see in your lifetime whether or not he decides to get out of bed in the morning. It's insane.

More like... (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437146)

Carlos 'not so' Slim.

Hard times? (3, Interesting)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437166)

Slim's fortune has swelled to an estimated $53.5 billion, up $18.5 billion in 12 months.

Gates, now worth $53 billion, is ranked second in the world. He is up $13 billion from a year ago

And now, the $0.5 million question: How much money does Gates give to charity?

Re:Hard times? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437174)

$0.5 million

*billion

Changed my mind mid-way from $500 million to $0.5 billion and it ended up wrong...

Re:Hard times? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437220)

I’ve just had an epiphany.

I think you mean an apostrophe.

Do I win?

Re:Hard times? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437232)

Slim's fortune has swelled to an estimated $53.5 billion, up $18.5 billion in 12 months.

Gates, now worth $53 billion, is ranked second in the world. He is up $13 billion from a year ago

And now, the $0.5 million question: How much money does Gates give to charity?

According to the Wikipedia page on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [wikipedia.org] , the foundation donates $1.5 billion per year. And a BusinessWeek estimate [businessweek.com] lists Gates as having donated $28.1 billion over his whole life.

Re:Hard times? (2, Informative)

auric_dude (610172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437266)

Bill and Melinda's charity works can be seen via http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Pages/home.aspx [gatesfoundation.org] or via the wiki version http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_&_Melinda_Gates_Foundation [wikipedia.org] - take your pick.

Re:Hard times? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437280)

Yes – it was a rhetorical question; thanks for giving everyone else some links, though. ;)

Re:Hard times? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437432)

You mean the charities that he founded to save on taxes? Just enough to come out on top.

Re:Hard times? (2, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437722)

You do realize that you can't actually gain money by donating to charity? Under absolute maximum tax bracket circumstances (for WA state), every dollar he gives to charity means he gets a deduction worth a little under 37 cents. And if most of his earnings are now classed as long term capital gains (highly likely), then the deduction is only worth 15 cents on the dollar. Giving to charity means you give a little less to the government in exchange for giving a lot more to a charitable cause. It's not some magical tax dodge.

Who? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437170)

Who?

Re:Who? (2, Insightful)

rvw (755107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437338)

Who?

He doesn't care that you don't know him.

Donation Form (4, Funny)

spruce (454842) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437176)

Hearing this news saddened me at first, then it angered me into action. I've setup an online donation fund here [sprucesaccount.com] . With a small $50 weekly donation from 30 or 40 million of you, Bill can continue to live the kind of life he's used to. Won't somebody think of Bill Gate's children!

Re:Donation Form (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437246)

Rumor has it that Melinda was a niggerlover before Billy picked her off the streets and gave her a shower.

Billy himself is sterile, but he's raising three of her mulatto offspring(different fathers, of course) in secret.

Yes, Tragic Story (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437190)

Turns out he spend his entire fortune on sweater vests and diesel powered nuns.

So... (5, Interesting)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437212)

California's bankrupt and the richest man in the world is Mexican?

Lovin' them apples.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437248)

Mexican-Lebanese...there is more to the story there :)

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437294)

The California state government is bankrupt, because the initiative process has set it up in a way that only works when the economy is growing. The people and companies in California, most of them, are doing very nearly as well as ever.

Re:So... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437346)

the initiative process has set it up in a way that only works when the economy is growing

The people and companies in California, most of them, are doing very nearly as well as ever

Those statements cannot be simultaneously true.

Re:So... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437446)

If unemployment is 20%, most people are still doing just fine.

Re:So... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437712)

If unemployment is 20%, most people are still doing just fine.

Unemployment only reports on people collecting unemployment, or eligible to do so. More people than that are unemployed, and yet, it is an unusually high statistic as well.

California is fucked, and people are leaving it as fast as they can. Which of course might improve unemployment...

not news (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437222)

This happens occasionally. Sometimes it's Carlos (not "Carlo"); I think once it was Ingvar Kamprad (who founded IKEA), etc. Bill will be back on top eventually.

Re:not news (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437476)

You never know.. Apple, Linux, Firefox, OpenOffice, Google Docs etc are all growing in the public awareness. People are recognising that they have choices, and that in fact while Microsoft products may be the best known, that does not make them the best for everyone :)

I don't really give a crap if Bill comes out on top again or not, I'm jus sayin.

So is that... (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437230)

... where all our money went?

Don't worry.... (2, Informative)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437234)

Don't worry, Carlos Slim is a generous man, he'll give Bill Gates some side work till he gets back on his feet.

On a more serious note, we now have more millionaires and billionaires than at any other time in the history of the world! The wealth is trickling down baby!

Re:Don't worry.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437350)

On a more serious note, we now have more millionaires and billionaires than at any other time in the history of the world!

Is there also more wealth available to be had, or are the non-millionaires/billionaires even poorer as a result?

Re:Don't worry.... (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437716)

Well the average real wage in the US has been on steady decline for over 30 years. I would assume the average real wage in every developing country (China, India, Latin America, etc.) has gone up significantly over the same period of time, not sure how it balances out. Also inflation comes into play quite a bit.

Re:Don't worry.... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437386)

On a more serious note, we now have more millionaires and billionaires than at any other time in the history of the world! The wealth is trickling down baby!

Is that adjusted for inflation? :P

Re:Don't worry.... (4, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437556)

On a more serious note, we now have more millionaires and billionaires than at any other time in the history of the world! The wealth is trickling down baby!

While I'm sure that there is more economic activity than ever before, since a dollar today is worth less than 4 cents in 1913 -- being a millionaire is not exactly the same accomplishment as back then. It's more equivalent to being having $25 million today.

Gates never was the world's richest man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437282)

None of these men passed Sultan of Brunei. The Forbes list only counts people in the private sector, so the Sultan is not counted.

Sam Walton's heirs, if they were counted as one person, make Gates, Buffet and Slim combined look like paupers.

Re:Gates never was the world's richest man (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437410)

The Sultan of Brunei is complete twit anyway. He has pissed away over 80% of his inherited fortune on palaces, planes, and more Rolls-Royces than any other single person. If his father could rise from the dead he would probably kick him in the balls if he knew how wastefully the fortune he had acquired was being wasted.

Carlos, not Carlo (1)

omni123 (1622083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437284)

It's probably worth clarifying... his name is Carlos Slim Helú or just Carlos Slim.

Interesting quote (2)

NoNeeeed (157503) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437326)

"last year's wealth wasteland has become a billionaire bonanza. Most of the richest people on the planet have seen their fortunes soar in the past year. "

I'm no communist, but something sticks in my craw when I realise how many of the very richest (both corporations, banks and individuals) have done so well out of the recent financial woes that have destroyed the lives of so many people.

I can't help thinking that we are lining up for a political "readjustment" in many countries if the current situation continues. The gap between the very richest and everyone else is growing wider, and the theory of "trickle-down" just isn't holding up, those at the bottom are still being shafted.

Re:Interesting quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437460)

Most of them have the majority (99.9%) of their wealth based in stock, their wealth has gone up because their companies value has increased with the stock market recovery. If Bill actually tried to get his hands on more than a tiny percentage of his holdings at one time it would cause Microsoft's share price to tank and he would end up worth a few hundred million not tens of billions.

So, the Rich got richer this year... (5, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437342)

And the poor got poorer. Nothing new to see here, move along.

It's criminal, though isn't it? Millions of people are out of work, thousands are losing their homes, a majority of Americans have so little in savings that a single illness can put them over the edge into poverty, and yet, all these guys, despite a huge recession, saw their fortunes go UP.

Go figure.

Re:So, the Rich got richer this year... (2, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437358)

Making money isn’t “criminal” and I, for one, hope it never will be.

Re:So, the Rich got richer this year... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437490)

Making money may not be criminal, but making lots of money usually is.
Please show me a billionaire that didn't pull illegal and criminal acts to get where they are.

From Carlos Slim and Bill Gates, to Russia's modern day oligarchs, to the robber barons and old money families ruling America today - there just aren't that many people who become that rich without being immoral, oppressive criminals. Some hide it better than others; some attempt to buy their reputations back with acts of charity; but don't think they are anything like the rest of us.

Re:So, the Rich got richer this year... (2, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437626)

Depends on how you make the money. A lot of people used to get rich at one time doing slave trade.

Re:So, the Rich got richer this year... (1, Flamebait)

dosilegecko (1609441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437650)

I agree. I like to think that if someone achieves this kind of fortune that it is a great thing for them. I'll worry about taking myself up levels and not worry about bringing others down.

Re:So, the Rich got richer this year... (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437396)

I'd like to point out that also this year the rich got poorer and the poor got richer.

And then there's the rich and the poor that stayed about the same.

Anyone care to make a quip that involves statistical significance?

Re:So, the Rich got richer this year... (1)

wye43 (769759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437472)

Commie.

Re:So, the Rich got richer this year... (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437516)

And the poor got poorer. Nothing new to see here, move along.

It's criminal, though isn't it? Millions of people are out of work, thousands are losing their homes, a majority of Americans have so little in savings that a single illness can put them over the edge into poverty, and yet, all these guys, despite a huge recession, saw their fortunes go UP.

Go figure.

that is capitalism, at it's best.

Re:So, the Rich got richer this year... (2, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437584)

Keep repeating that pithy little lie, and maybe someday in an alternate universe it will be true.

But [visualizingeconomics.com] not [visualizingeconomics.com] here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:So, the Rich got richer this year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437762)

But you're wrong. The poor DIDN'T get poorer. John Stossel did a report on this - but you don't need to watch it because you know he's right. Look at the standard of living for poor people compared to the past. Today, the poor have cable tv, cars and air conditioning.

maybe, but the list of competitors Gates crushed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437416)

along the way with a combination of smart, aggressive, unseemly, unethical, and blatantly illegal tactics is probably much more impressive.

Gates getting poorer is a good thing... (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437494)

Is the fact that Gates isn't worth as much may be a function of him giving away his wealth as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation? If so, I see him slipping as a sign that he is really putting his money where his mouth is, and actually doing something to improve the world with the results of his hard work like he said he would.

Sheldon

Did he earn it? (3, Insightful)

overlordofmu (1422163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437570)

In America, greed is a game. Sure, Gates, Buffet and rich asshole #1 have money.

Question: Did they earn it?
Answer: No. They played a game well and have received a cash prize.

No man does 53 billion dollar of work. He games the system so the incremental profits of the workers at the bottom of the pyramid trickle up into his pockets.

If you disagree, you are wrong. The truth in the paragraph above is undeniable by clear-minded, rational people. However, fear of socialism fueled the Cold War, was the justification of the US war in Viet Nam, the US funding and training of death squad in Nicaragua, and is the rational for the current Cuba embargo. Oh, and fear of socialism is the primary undercurrent to keep healthcare in America as a luxury only the wealthy can afford.

America is a fucked up mess. Capitalism is a fallacy.

Re:Did he earn it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437744)

wow.

The man who closed CompUSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437578)

In case anyone doesn't remember. (link [tmcnet.com] ) Now if I actually want to see a product in a package, I have to go to WorstBuy or Wal-Mart.

charity (3, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437662)

Gates spent 30-40 billions on charity, if he didn't, still would've been #1.

CNN Article (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437672)

Here's the article on CNN about it:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/BUSINESS/03/10/forbes.list/index.html

The last paragraph in that article makes me wish I was down on my luck and only getting thousands of dollars a month.

He is rich because you are poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437750)

Each little saving he made by laying off workforce, or using cheaper components, or undermining the competition, or misleading you with regards to the quality of functionality of his products or services... and so on, added a little more to his wealth.

Is the man a towering genius. Probably not. Is he single mindedly bent on amassing power and wealth. Yes. Did he get lucky. Yes, that too.

There should be a law against it.

If you have got some drivel to spout about how someone getting rich somehow enriches us all then I suggest you save us the torture by sticking your head in a bucket first.

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