Why the Notion of the Self-Taught, Self-Made Billionaire Is a Lie
A look at the educational background of the 1 percent, courtesy of the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census, reveals that the “rags to riches” narrative we’re fed about the rich being “self-taught self-starters” is a fallacy. The world’s billionaires are “disproportionately likely” to have received a degree at one of several elite (and, one could add, elitist) institutions, most of which can be found in the U.S., and then get tax breaks by donating to the universities that helped them make their billions.
Sadly, this peek into the lives of the uber-rich also uncovers a contradiction about education itself. As author and former sociology professor Frank Furedi eloquently puts it, “Education [is] the way that some people make their way up and it’s the way of consolidating privilege.”
According to a global census of dollar billionaires, almost two-thirds have a university degree. That means that even for countries with a high level of graduates, billionaires are disproportionately likely to have gone to university…The educational insights are from an annual profile of the uber-rich, the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census, produced by the Swiss banking group and a Singapore-based financial intelligence firm…This map of wealth also shows that these dollar billionaires – worth at least £620m and typically more than three times this amount – are likely to have attended some of the traditionally most prestigious universities.
Frank Furedi, author, social commentator and former professor of sociology, says that one of the “big secrets” of the expansion of higher education has been a growing gap between the most prestigious universities and the rest.
“The hierarchy has become more fixed,” says Prof Furedi….These top universities have become the place where “global players gather”.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi ZapataWait, before you go…