Wealth measurement changes with times

Warren Buffett is now the world’s second-richest man.

The title used to belong to Carlos Slim. Both of these guys trail Bill Gates by a good bit. Several billions of dollars, I think.


I see these surveys measuring people’s wealth. Gates is worth tens of billions. Same with Buffett and Slim — and whoever else comprises the Top 10 list of richest people on the planet.

Inflation has done a lot of things to the way we measure these matters.

It all reminds me of how much the actual dollar has been devalued over the past, oh, 40 years.

Aristotle Onassis died in 1975. He was a shipping tycoon with merchants ships carrying cargo all around the world. At the time of his death, he was considered one of the world’s top two richest men. I seem to recall it was a see-saw contest between him and a rival Greek shipping magnate, a guy named Stavros Niarcos.

What was Onassis’s wealth at the time of his death? The figure I saw was $500 million.

Good heavens. He was a mere multimillionaire. Onassis’s portfolio amounted to mere chump change when compared to Gates, Buffett and Slim.

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