The super-rich signify wealth concentration. The rich have become richer and richer. Whatever figures are used, we are dealing with rising inequalities.
While in 1982 the hundred richest Europeans were worth an average of $230 million each, their average wealth in 2005 was ten times that, namely $2.6 billion. Since 2005, the gap has widened.
Merrill Lynch’s World Wealth Report tells the story. Its report divides the rich into two groups:
1) High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) and the
2) Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs).
By the year 1996, there were about 4.5 million HNWIs with $16 trillion of individual wealth. By 2019, there were five times as many – twenty million – HNWIs with $74 trillion of individual wealth.
At the same time, the World Bank reports that “more than 40% of the world’s population – almost 3.3 billion people – live below the $5.50 a day poverty line”.
In the field of conspicuous consumption, first came Bentley and Rolls Royce limousines to now the private jet countless "executive" Gulfstream aircraft to about fifty private Boeing 747s and 777s owners, planes that normally carries four hundred passengers. Mega-yachts are experiencing an unprecedented construction boom.
Then there is the art market which also plays a special and especially subtle role in the field of conspicuous consumption. Today, at a Sotheby auction a Picasso can be bought for $95.2 million, or a Monet sold for $5 million.
Taken from here