Reflected by Google Ngrams, we are saying billionaire much more frequently:
But still, according to the millions of books scanned by Google, billionaire is a recent phenomenon:
6 Facts: Billionaires
1. More of us believe billionaires are bad for the country.
Especially if you are between 18 and 29, it is likely that you will feel neutral about billionaires or view them negatively:
2. Even Starbucks founder Howard Schultz prefers to be called “a person of means.”
Asked why, he replied that we associate “inequality, tax cuts, and special interests.” with billionaires.
3. Correspondingly, a new slogan demonstrated the Progressive Democrats’ view of billionaires.
One of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s aides said, “Every billionaire is a policy failure.”
4. More precisely though, Forbes billionaires list can tell us the kind of productivity each billionaire generated.
With Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bernard Arnault at the top for 2022, we can say that electric vehicles, Amazon, and luxury goods came from our most affluent people:
5. In the Forbes “Real-Time Billionaires List, ” the top 10 was populated mostly by tech.
Then, if I had copied beyond the top four, below, you would have seen more tech through Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer, and Larry Page. In addition, for investing we again had Warren Buffett and telecom, Carlos Slim:
6. Then again, we might just be conflicted.
In a recent paper, survey participants spoke disparagingly of the super-rich while professing admiration for Bill Gates’s and Elon Musk’s brains, talent, and hard work.
Our Bottom Line: Redistribution
Remembering tradeoffs, we can conclude by asking how much we should tax our most wealthy citizens.
My sources and more: My Axios newsletter suggested that calling one of the Titan’s victims a billionaire could taint his memory. It turns out that they could have been correct. Both Pew Research and this Washington Post article detail our increasingly negative feelings about billionaires. But then again, CNBC had the positive side.