(Fictitious) Billionaire Facts

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Apr 20, 2010    •    742 Views

Did you ever wonder how rich Jed Clampett (the Beverly Billbillies) would be? According to Forbes Fictional 15, because of oil, gas, and banking investments, Clampett, worth $7.2 billion, is #5 on the list.

C. Montgomery Burns, hometown Springfield, U.S.A., and graduate of Yale, is #12 because of the money he made as owner of the Springfield Power Plant and Jay Gatsby is #14 with $1 billion. #1 was Carlisle Cullen from Twilight’s Billionaire Vampire.

The Economic Life

A very real issue that concerns economists is income distribution.  In the U.S., our national income comes from wages and salaries, rent, interest, dividends and profits from businesses that are not incorporated. To picture our income distribution, please think of a pie as the total national income and then individual slices as the proportion that different groups receive. That would mean that if total national income were $1,000 and a society had only five households (people living together), then if every household earned $200, distribution was equal. By contrast, if one family earned $800, then, because $200 remained for everyone else, there would be considerable inequality. Recently, the top quintile of households in the U.S. earned close to 50% of all income. This quintile approach for representing income distribution was developed by statistician Max Lorenz. 

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