Speed Reads

The Rich Are Different

If Bill Gates spent $1 million a day, he would blow his fortune in 218 years

I'm fairly certain it would take just one particularly vigorous shopping spree to spend away my "fortune." But it would take Bill Gates a lot more than that.

According to new research from Oxfam, Gates would have to spend $1 million a day for 218 years in order to get rid of every last penny of his wealth (approximately $79 billion). It would take Carlos Slim, the world's richest man, even longer: 220 years if he spent at the same rate.

Oxfam's report uses these numbers to make a larger point about economic inequality, which it says has reached "extreme levels." Since the recession, the number of billionaires has more than doubled, and the income gap is only widening: The 85 richest people in the world own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

For more interesting stats on the research, head to The Guardian.