Jeff Bezos is rich. We know that much to be true. But exactly How he is rich and how his wealth is compared to the 7.594 billion people in the world (minus one) who aren’t Jeff Bezos is difficult to fathom. Trying to understand it usually involves one of these descriptions of eternity, in which a bird sharpens its beak on a mountain every thousand years until the stone wears out, unless the mountain is made of money and the scratches represent the average Annual income from an American worker.
But here’s a better way: Scroll through this amazing data visualization of Bezos̵
The whole experience is sobering, to say the least. We all know that there are some stupidly rich people in the world and Bezos is one of them, but it is difficult for us to intuitively understand how large these large numbers are. The experience reminded me of this amazing quote from Douglas Adams. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “The room is big. You just won’t believe how big, huge and stunning it is. I mean, you might think it’s a long way to the pharmacy, but these are just peanuts in space. ”
And your lifetime earnings are peanuts compared to Bezos’ net worth. As was shown earlier this year, he bought the most expensive house in LA for one eight percent of his wealth. If you make $ 60,000 a year, that means spending $ 75 on a house.
This visualization by web developer Matt Korostoff isn’t the first one we’ve seen that tries to bring the extreme inequality of modern wealth into the realm of comprehensibility, but it is one of the simplest and therefore most eloquent. This includes the remarkable fact that the 400 richest Americans, who own $ 2.96 trillion or more than the poorest 60 percent of the country, could easily fit in a single 747 plane.
As mentioned in the long scroll itself, this isn’t an idle exercise either: Most Americans want wealth to be more evenly distributed than they are now, but don’t always understand how rich the rich really are. Data visualizations like this, which also show how 0.001 percent wealth can tackle many of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges, are tools to help bridge this mental divide. And most likely let’s ask more questions than we started. How rich is Jeff Bezos and do you think he deserves it?