Forbes has been criticized for declaring billionaires like Oprah and Jay-Z too poor for their list of the 400 richest Americans

The often quoted aphorism “The rich get richer while the poor get poorer” could be revised. Especially when you consider that billionaires can now be considered poor. At least, that was the case when Forbes announced that many of America’s billionaires don’t have the money to compile “The 2022 Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans.”

Oprah Winfrey (estimated net worth $2.5 billion) is too poor. Kanye West ($2 billion) doesn’t have enough. Neither Kim Kardashian ($1.8 billion), Michael Jordan ($1.7 billion), Peter Jackson ($1.5 billion) nor Jay Z ($1.3 billion),” business magazine wrote in a Sept. 27 Instagram post.

Forbes faces criticism after calling billionaires “too poor” to make the 2022 Forbes 400 list. Photo: Forbes/Instagram

In 2003, Forbes declared Winfrey a billionaire. Her newly minted financial status was a historic celebration, making her the first black woman in America with an estimated network to surpass 10 figures. Jordan achieved billionaire status in 2014, more than a decade after his final retirement from the NBA. Jay-Z was added to the list in 2019. He too made history by becoming hip hop’s first billionaire.

Forbes regularly grabs attention for delving deep into the pockets of the richest people around the world, but the recent post on social media has left scores of users offended and confused. The publication addressed the difference between rich people and “Forbes 400 rich,” explaining that individuals would need to amass more than $2.7 billion to make the list. But apparently, ordinary Americans weren’t the only ones feeling the effects of inflation.

According to the publication, “This year’s Forbes 400 as a group is down $500 billion from a year ago. Their total net worth is $4 trillion, down 11% year over year. The minimum net worth required to make the list also fell by $200 million to $2.7 billion. It’s the first time since the Great Recession that America’s ultra-rich aren’t richer than they were a year ago.”

Reactions to the list and social media post were harsh, with scores of people calling out Forbes for his poor choice of words. See some of the comments below:

“What a ridiculous title… ‘Billionaires Too Poor…’ Are we really that far from reality?… smh”

“Is there a second meaning of ‘poor’ that we haven’t heard?”

“You are all rude for saying that.”

“It doesn’t really need to be said, but ‘poor’ is absolutely NOT the right terminology.”

Others had issues with the edited magician of the post starring Winfrey, Jordan, and Kardashian. “Why do you have to use the pictures of black people with this article title?” asked one person.

Another commented: “WHY is Michael Jordan – EXTREMELY LIGHT??? I didn’t even know who I was looking at… Derek Jeter… The Rock… But NOT Michael Jordan. The original photo of Zhong Zhi doesn’t even look like this in B/W. TO TAKE THEM OUT OF THEIR ORIGINAL CLOTHING TOO and put them in “rags”… SERIOUSLY – graphic designers should be ashamed. Only use POC to illustrate your poverty billionaire list…. IS DIRTY.” Forbes has been criticized for declaring billionaires like Oprah and Jay-Z too poor for their list of the 400 richest Americans

James Brien

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