analyze-the-billionaires-of-a-society-to-gauge-its-economic-health-ruchir-sharma

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Interactive video lesson plan for: Analyze the Billionaires of a Society to Gauge Its Economic Health | Ruchir Sharma

Activity overview:

Billionaires: what have they done for us lately? Well, some of them have developed the tech you're reading this on (scoring good points), but others have gamed the system and nepotismed their way to the bank (bad, bad billionaires). Sharma's latest book is "The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World" (http://goo.gl/6IJXvM).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/ruchir-sharma-on-good-and-bad-billionaires-2

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Transcript - Income and equality has become a very big issue across the world this decade. And yet the data we have on income and equality tends to be very backward looking or not consistent. And I thought like a very good real time indicator of a nation’s prospects is to look at the number of good and bad billionaires in that country. That really tells you about how a country is evolving and where income and equality is becoming too big an issue and where could the population really begin to revolt in some way against wrong kind of wealth creation. So I use three measures of figuring this out. One, the number of billionaires in a country as a share of the total economy. Two, whether the wealth being created is good or bad. And three, the number of inherited billionaires in an economy.

The issue is if any of these three metrics are too out of balance it tells you that the process of wealth creation may come under attack in these nations. So let’s focus on good versus bad billionaires. What do I mean by this? The good billionaires in a country typically tend to be from industries such as technology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical. These are industries where it is all about that person’s skill and talent which is leading to this wealth creation. On the other hand, the bad billionaires tend to be from industries such a s real estate, mining. And what do I mean by that? In these industries a lot of the wealth creation is done by giving the system or by having good government connections. And I think that that any nation will have a few bad billionaires. But if you have too many bad versus good billionaires that is a problem. Now take the case of the United States. In the United States in fact the number of good billionaires far outnumber the number of bad billionaires in this nation. Read Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/0Drxsk.

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