20 Richest People in the United States in 2011


(ref: Forbes 400, forbes.com. GDP data from 2010 CIA Factbook)

The total worth of the 400 wealthiest in the United States rose to $1.53 trillion.  Numbers in [brackets] are countries with the closest approximate GDP.

  1. Bill Gates ($59.0 bil; 55 yo; Medina, Washington;   Microsoft) [Lebanon, Tanzania]
  2. Warren Buffett ($39.0 bil; 81 yo;  Omaha, Nebraska; Berkshire Hathaway) [North Korea]
  3. Larry Ellison ($33.0 bil; 67 yo; Woodside, California; Oracle) [Paraguay]
  4. Charles Koch ($25.0 bil; 75 yo; Wichita, Kansas; diversified) [Trinidad, Estonia]
  5. David Koch ($25.0 bil; 71 yo; New York, New York;  diversified) [Trinidad, Estonia]
  6. Christy Walton ($24.5 bil; 56 yo; Jackson, Wyoming; Wal-Mart) [Estonia]
  7. George Soros ($22.0 bil; 81 yo; Katonah, New York; hedge funds) [Georgia]
  8. Sheldon Adelson ($21.5 bil; 78 yo;  Las Vegas, Nevada; casinos) [Mozambique]
  9. Jim Walton ($21.1 bil; 63 yo; Bentonville, Arkansas; Wal-Mart) [Mozambique]
  10. Alice Walton ($20.9 bil; 61 yo; Fort Worth, Texas; Wal-Mart) [Zambia, Macedonia]
  11. S. Robson Walton ($20.5 bil; 67 yo; Bentonville, Arkansas; Wal-Mart) [Zambia, Macedonia]
  12. Michael Bloomberg ($19.5 bil; 69 yo; New York, New York; Bloomberg LP) [Madagascar]
  13. Jeff Bezos ($19.1 bil; 47 yo; Seattle, Washington; Amazon.com) [Madagascar]
  14. Mark Zuckerberg ($17.5 bil; 27 yo; Palo Alto, California; Facebook) [Nicaragua, Chad]
  15. Sergey Brin ($16.7 bil; 38 yo; Los Altos, California; Google) [Mali]
  16. Larry Page  ($16.7 bil; 38 yo;  Palo Alto, California; Google) [Mali]
  17. John Paulson ($15.5 bil; 55 yo; New York, New York; hedge funds) [Papua New Guinea]
  18. Michael Dell ($15.0 bil; 46 yo; Austin, Texas; Dell) [Papua New Guinea]
  19. Steve Ballmer ($13.9 bil; 55 yo; Hunts Point, Washington; Microsoft) [Benin, Malawi]
  20. Forrest Mars ($13.8 bil; 80 yo; Big Horn, Wyoming; candy) [Benin, Malawi]

Net worth of the 20 wealthiest Americans for 2011: $459.2 billion [Pakistan].The net worth of the 400 wealthiest Americans was $1.53 trillion [the GDP of Mexico or the combined total GDP of Chile, Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia] or 10.4% of the $14.66 trillion GDP of the United States .

Check out Teaching Economics as if People Mattered – Born on Third Base for an interesting lesson plan about wealth and the Forbes 400.

Here’s a link to the 2009 list of the 20 Richest People in the US.


6 Ways FairTrade Makes Chocolate Sweeter To Eat

(ref: Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International )

What can make a chocolate bar more wonderful than it already is? Answer: Making the bar from cocoa beans where the farmer was paid a fair wage for their product, where no slave labor was used, and where earth-friendly and sustainable growing standards were adhered to.

That’s what you get with a certified FairTrade bar of chocolate. An estimated 14 million people in the developing world depend on cocoa production for their livelihoods. FairTrade helps ensure that they can make a real living and we get a better and safer product. Sweet!

Continue reading

20 Richest People in the United States in 2009

Forbes 400 graphic

(ref: Forbes 400, forbes.com. GDP data from indexmundi.com based on 2008 CIA Factbook)

In 2009, the net worth of the top 20 wealthiest fell by 13.8% and there are 3 newcomers to the top 20 group (indicated by an asterisk*). The total worth of the 400 wealthiest in the United States fell by $300 billion to $1.27 trillion. Numbers in [brackets] are countries with the closest approximate GDP. Continue reading

75 Countries and Life Expectancy for Living There

(ref: CIA World Factbook, Reuters, World Bank, Wikipedia)

This is a list of the top 75 countries for highest life expectancy in the world. Those countries offering some form of universal healthcare are noted with an asterisk (*) and the country name is in bold. Healthcare per capita (person) costs are in US Dollars. Continue reading

7 Measures of Gross National Happiness (GNH)

(ref: Gross National Happiness (GNH) — A New Economic Metric, By Med Yones International Institute of Management)

In 1972, Bhutan’s King Jigme Wangchuck coined the term Gross National Happiness (GNH) to emphasize the holistic values of economic development policies.

“Happiness is very serious business,” Bhutan Prime Minister Jigme Thinley told the San Francisco Chronicle, 12/4/2008. “The dogma of limitless productivity and growth in a finite world is unsustainable and unfair for future generations.”

The International Institute of Management has proposed these seven measures for quantifying happiness as a socioeconomic development metric.

1. Economic Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution

2. Environmental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic.

3. Physical Wellness: Indicated via statistical measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses, being overweight, etc.

4. Mental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients.

5. Workplace Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits.

6. Social Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety ,divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates.

7. Political Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts.

The above 7 metrics were incorporated into the first Global GNH Survey.

Check out Teachingeconomics.org – Signs of the Economic Times for a good lesson plan and animated Flash presentation that contrasts GNP and GDP with other alternative economic measures of human progress.

40 Ways to Build a Global Community

(ref: How to Build Global Community poster)

  1. Think of no one as “them”
  2. Don’t confuse your comfort with your safety
  3. Talk to strangers
  4. Imagine other cultures through their art, poetry, and novels
  5. Listen to music you don’t understand – Dance to it!
  6. Act locally
  7. Notice the workings of power and privilege in your culture
  8. Question consumption
  9. Know how your lettuce and coffee are grown: wake up and smell the exploitation
  10. Look for fair trade and union labels
  11. Help build economies from the bottom up
  12. Acquire few needs
  13. Learn a second (or third) language
  14. Visit people, places, and cultures — not tourist attractions
  15. Learn people’s history
  16. Re-define progress
  17. Know physical and political geography
  18. Play games from other cultures
  19. Watch films with subtitles
  20. Know your heritage
  21. Honor everyone’s holidays
  22. Look at the moon and imagine someone else, somewhere else, looking at it too
  23. Read the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  24. Understand the global economy in terms of people, land, and water
  25. Know where your bank banks
  26. Never believe you have a right to anyone else’s resources
  27. Refuse to wear corporate logos: defy corporate domination
  28. Question military/corporate connections
  29. Don’t confuse money with wealth, or time with money
  30. Have a pen/email pal
  31. Honor indigenous cultures
  32. Judge governance by how well it meets all people’s needs
  33. Be skeptical about what you read
  34. Eat adventurously — Enjoy vegetables, beans, and grains in your diet
  35. Choose curiosity over certainty
  36. Know where your water comes from and where your wastes go
  37. Pledge allegiance to the earth: question nationalism
  38. Think South, Central, and North — there are many Americans
  39. Assume that many others share your dream
  40. Know that no one is silent though many are not heard – WORK TO CHANGE THIS!

You can get a poster with this list of How to Build Global Community at Reach and Teach.

Also check out the Take One World poster.

30 Articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(ref: United Nations website (un.org), We Are All Born Free – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures)

We Are All Born Free

Click to view images from "We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures". Book sales benefit Amnesty International

From the very beginning, human rights has been a major concern of the United Nations. On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories. United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24th and commemorates the founding of this organization in 1945.

Article 1.

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

We Are All Born FreeReach and Teach – The Peace and Social Justice Learning Company offers a beautifully illustrated children’s book We Are All Born Free – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures. Proceeds from book sales are donated to Amnesty International.

Also check out…
37 Rights in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child