[FOUNTAIN]Definition of wealth is misleadingThe more billionaires a country has, the richer it is. The more billionaires a city has, the more capitalistic it is. So the city most preferred by the world’s richest citizens would be the most democratic and liberal, right? Well, in reality, it might not be necessarily true.
Forbes magazine announces the list of the world’s wealthiest people every year. According to Forbes, New York City boasts the most billionaire residents, with 31 New Yorkers amassing a fortune over $1 billion.
Moscow had the second largest concentration of billionaires, followed by Hong Kong’s 16 super-wealthy residents. Ten billionaires live in Paris.
Two European cities, one American city and one Asian city hold the mega-rich. But is Moscow more capitalist-friendly than London, Rome or Geneva? Does it really provide a conformable environment for the wealthy? Do Moscow citizens show more respect than jealousy toward the billionaires? Most likely not.
The situation is similar in Asia. Is Hong Kong a more developed city than Tokyo? As a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong is run on the principles of the market economy. But essentially, Hong Kong is still a part of communist China.
Then are the cities like New York, Moscow, Hong Kong and Paris better places to make money? How about Shanghai and the emerging cities in India and Brazil? How about the oil-rich Middle Eastern cities?
We can conclude that the concentration of the billionaire residents does not make a country rich, capitalistic, liberal or democratic. We should not be blinded by the number of wealthy residents.
The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) is the indicator for the developed countries’ consideration for the poor countries through the policies on relief and assistance, investment, trade, immigration, peacekeeping and the environment.
The United States and Japan are the two countries with the biggest foreign aid programs.
But they are ranked at the bottom of the Commitment to Development Index ranking, and smaller European countries such as the Netherlands or Denmark are ranked near the top.
Sheer quantity is not necessarily translated into quality when it comes to well being.
by Kim Seok-hwan
The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.