You may or may not have heard of Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon and one of the richest men in the world. With a net worth of $122 billion, Jeff’s wealth is difficult for the human mind to even fathom. That’s why one TikTok user made a handy visual aid using, of all things, grains of rice.
Humphrey Yang, or @humphreytalks on TikTok, used one grain of rice to represent $100,000. Then he showed piles of rice representing $1 million (10 grains of rice) and $1 billion (10,000 grains of rice).
The video took him “hours” to make, and it’s a stunning visual representation of just how much more $1 billion is than $1 million.
In a follow-up video, Humphrey carefully measured out the correct amount of rice to represent Jeff Bezos’ wealth.
It’s a whopping 58 pounds of rice.
He tells BuzzFeed News that he didn’t intend to make a political or social statement with the videos. An e-commerce consultant in San Francisco, he makes financial literacy videos on his channel on a regular basis. (And he’s not a teen, contrary to some viral tweets.)
“I wanted to present the information the best I could without putting a spin on it; other people can put their spin on it.
But I realize now after I posted the video that a ton of the comments — I’d say 80% of the comments — are saying that wealth is such an inequality, no one should have that much money, and ‘we’re out here struggling for half a grain of rice, which is 50K.’
That’s what’s sparking it.”
The videos have gone viral on TikTok as well as Twitter, because of how clearly they demonstrate wealth inequality.
One person on Twitter wrote, “I love how the single rice grain that represents $100,000 would change my entire life.”
Many others wrote: “TAX THE RICH!!”
Humphrey tells BuzzFeed News that he thinks the reason behind wealth inequality doesn’t lie with individual rich people, but rather with “the system itself — capitalism itself.”
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments!