New billionaires list out

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Forbes recently released its annual World’s Billionaires List. It is considered to be the most reliable list of every billionaire on earth. Although something like this is never perfect because not every billionaire is so eager to cooperate with such a list, it is fairly accurate and always interesting to look at every year. There are many things that I can discuss in detail that are interesting and arise from this list, but today I will only be looking at one point in particular.

The first thing I noticed when I read through the list of the world’s 1,210 billionaires for 2011 were some of the people that were absent from it. Although some people knew this before and everyone knows it now, certain dictators who are known to be billionaires were not on the list. Dictators and former Dictators like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez or any of the oppressive leaders of Iran are notably missing from a list that they surely qualify for.

These leaders are all billionaires, although none of them should be. After all, honest politics doesn’t pay that well and certainly shouldn’t make you a billionaire under any circumstances. However, it can be very lucrative if you pocket tax money, oil money and other national assets that belong to the public. It is likely that these people are not on the list because their massive fortunes were too difficult to verify. With that said, the U.S. government recently froze $30 billion of Gaddafi’s and his family’s assets. Technically this money belongs to all of Libya, but obviously we know the Libyan people would not have really seen any of it. Ironically, it is very possible that if these people’s fortunes were shown on the Forbes billionaires list, most or all of them would be at or near the top of it. I guess politics really is a good business to be in, at least for some people.