I don’t know if you were aware, but in the last week, Forbes (who promote themselves as the leading source for reliable business news and financial information) announced the list of richest people in the world. Now if you’ve ever looked into this, you’ll know, or at least have a fair idea of who this is.
So I’ll give you some clues in case you haven’t heard.
1. It’s a guy, sorry ladies, but no surprise there unfortunately.
2. No, he’s what I would call middle aged so no it’s not a football player
3. You’ll more than likely use something he makes, owns, runs, whatever today, may be more
Well if you haven’t guessed it, the answer is:
Yes, once again Bill is the richest person on the planet, a title he’s held now for 16 out of the last 21 years. He recaptured the top spot in March 2014.
The performance of Microsoft, has boosted his net worth but he’s been steadily selling his shares in the software company for at least 15 years. Bill is apparently focused as a philanthropist, with some decisive goals for his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition, he’s continuing to work on improving U.S. education and global health.
Sounds great, and in a way it is, but and I’m sorry there’s a big BUT.
I have some issues, because although he’s giving back to the community, a lot of this is going towards “getting Africa to feed itself”. Now I know there’s a need to help the third world countries, but I think it’s about time America started to look after Americans! Having traveled across America, there is definitely the haves and and too many of the have nots. I think we should be helping our economy.
The other area that Bill is concerned about is “he wants to help spread mobile banking so that the poor can transform their lives” … What! If you’re that poor, A. you don’t have a smart phone, B. you haven’t enough money to worry about! I’m sorry Bill that just doesn’t make sense to me what-so-ever.
So, how much is Bill worth?
I know, I know, I’m going off on one and not getting to the point, but that’s me, and those that know me know that.
So, what is Bill’s net worth, well, it’s chump change really (Urban Dictionary: “chump change” is an insignificant amount of money). Ready for this, $79.2 BILLION my heart goes out to the guy. So, if like me you do the math, if he cashed it all in he could spend:
$217,000,000,000 a day for a year, that’s $9,042,000,000 an hour or $150,700,000 yes $150 million a minute!
Now that isn’t earnings of course it’s Bill’s net worth, but when you look at it the dividends he will get from Microsoft alone will be in the region of $3 Billion that still works out as a lotta dosh.
The real issue I have here is that if you look at this as a whole, he’ll pay a lot more in tax this year than all of us obviously, but that’s because he’ll have earned a whole lot more, BUT … as a percentage of his income, he’ll be better off!
Let’s assume you were very lucky and earned $80,000 per year by working at a job (I could be so lucky). First off, you’re hit with a nearly 16% tax for Social Security and Medicare. (Not, of course, that the money’s going to be there for you when you retire, but…). In addition, your net income tax rate will certainly be at least 15%. So, you’re paying at least approximately 30% of your earnings in taxes.
Now, Bill will be receiving approximately $3 billion in dividends from Microsoft. That’s probably the bulk of his income for the year, as thanks to the new tax cuts, dividends are now taxed at a special 15% tax rate, (so why earn separtatly if you follow). This means Bill Gates will be paying essentially 15% on his dividend income.
So, you’ll be at: $80,000 in earnings, & 30% in taxes.
Bill: $3 billion in earnings, & only 15% in taxes.
It looks like you’re paying approximately double, or does it?
Apparently tax analysts have considered that Bill says he’ll be contributing the bulk of his dividends to his charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and they’ve noted that this means he’ll be able to write-it-off as a charitable contribution the percentage of the $3 billion he contributes to his foundation. This write-off probably should eliminate any taxes he pays at the highest 35% tax rate on his other income and eliminate any net tax on the $3 billion dividend. So:
You’ll be at: $80,000 in earnings, & 30% in taxes.
Bill on the other hand: $3 billion in earnings, probably about 0% in taxes, when much of it is passed through to his nonprofit foundation.
As I have mentioned, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has done much good and made significant contributions to worthy causes, so that’s a good thing, but not necessarily the right ones in my opinion.
Just my thoughts and observations and clarification on the fact that
The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.
Welcome to my world.