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Should billionaires exist?

How much money does one person really need? 

There’s clearly a minimum survivable income (enough to pay for food, a roof over one’s head, and maybe a bit stashed away for a rainy day) but should there also be a maximum? Can money buy happiness? One 2019 study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that happiness does not “rise indefinitely with income”, and there is a “point at which higher income no longer leads to greater wellbeing”. The team at Purdue University which conducted the research concluded that the “income satiation” point was around €55,000 a year in terms of achieving maximum emotional wellbeing.

Yet why do we still strive for more? 

The number of billionaires in the world has increased by 358% since the year 2000, ballooning from 470 at the turn of the millennium to 2,668 today. The richest man in the world – Amazon boss Jeff Bezos – made more than $8 million an hour in 2019. That’s roughly 315 times more than the median Amazon employee earns per year. Yet, like many other large corporations, his company is criticised for paying relatively little tax compared to its size. Can that be fair?

The classic argument goes that billionaires are entrepreneurial, creating innovations and jobs benefiting us all in their pursuit of wealth. Plus, increasing taxes on billionaires will just see them move their wealth elsewhere, investing in other countries and economies.

What do our readers think? 

We received a comment from Andreu asking whether it is fair that, as Oxfam reported in 2019, 26 billionaires have as much combined wealth as the poorest 50% of people on the planet.

To get a response to Andreu’s question, we spoke to Pierre Pozzi Belforti, a venture capital investor in Artificial Intelligence (AI). You can see his response in the video at the top of this post!

Should billionaires exist? 

How much money does one person really need?Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

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