Magazine April 2, 2018, Issue

The Happiest Census

Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett. (Zuckerberg and Bezos: DSK/AFP/Getty Images; Buffett: Adam Jeffery/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Gates: Chesnot/Getty Images)
What the Forbes billionaires list tells us about how to get rich in America

Our friends at Forbes have made a fortune out of ranking the nation’s and the world’s wealthiest people, and their annual billionaires list, published in March, is a fascinating look at how to get filthy, stinking, ugly rich in America — as remarkable for who is not on the list as for who is.

Ironically, the Forbes billionaires list contains some of the best evidence there is against the argument one hears from Senator Sanders et al. that the United States is an oligarchy characterized by hereditary privilege and corporate hoarding.

Two of the remarkable absences from the list: heirs and

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