This year Forbes magazine listed 1,125 billionaires in the world, compared to 946 in 2007 and a measly 140 billionaires in 1986, the first year of the publication's ranking. Clearly, the ranks of the billionaire class have swelled.
In June, The Century Foundation hosted a three-day conference for business journalists on "Billionaires and Their Impact" as a session of the 2008 New York Times Journalism Institute, which seeks to inform and enlighten prominent journalists on important and under-reported issues.
Envy Economy asks "What's it like being super-rich today? How do the merely millionaires feel in a billionaire society? What sort of personal costs and personal motivations accompany making it big in the new Gilded Age?"- The Century Foundation
Robert Frank is a senior writer for the Wall Street Journal and the author of Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich.
His column, The Wealth Report, is a daily blog focused on the lives and culture of the wealthy which appears every Friday in The Wall Street Journal.
Daniel S. Hamermesh is Edward Everett Hale Centennial Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. His A.B. is from the University of Chicago (1965), his Ph.D. from Yale (1969).
He taught from 1969-73 at Princeton, from 1973-93 at Michigan State. He has held visiting professorships at universities in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, and lectured at over 200 universities in 46 states and 27 foreign countries. His research, published in nearly 100 refereed papers in scholarly journals, has concentrated on time use, labor demand, social programs, academic labor markets and unusual applications of labor economics (to beauty, sleep and suicide).
Hamermesh is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the Society of Labor Economists, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA), and Past President of the Society of Labor Economists and of the Midwest Economics Association. His magnum opus, Labor Demand, was published by Princeton University Press in 1993.
In 2005 McGraw-Hill Irwin published the second edition of his Economics Is Everywhere, a series of 400 vignettes designed to illustrate the ubiquity of economics in everyday life and how the simple tools in a microeconomics principles class can be used. Current vignettes are included on the freakonomics blog. His undergraduate teaching has gained him several University-wide teaching awards.
Hamermesh has been married for 41 years to Frances W. Hamermesh, a partner in an Austin law firm, and they have two sons. His hobbies include long-distance running, at which his skills are rapidly deteriorating; foreign travel, in which increasing practice has heightened his enjoyment, and playing with his six grandchildren, whom he does not see often enough.
Gary Rivlin is a reporter for The New York Times. He is the author, most recently, of The Godfather of Silicon Valley.
Before joining the editorial board in 2004, Teresa Tritch spent 12 years at Money magazine, as a staff writer, Washington, D.C., bureau chief and senior editor, covering politics, finance and taxes.
She has also been a contributing editor for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, covering nonprofits, and for the Gallup Management Journal, covering workplace issues, as well as co-editor of a book on Iraq, America at War, a joint project of CBS and Simon and Schuster.
Tritch, a Los Angeles native, holds a B.A. in German from UCLA and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University. In 2000, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia.
Richistan author Robert Frank discusses what he calls "aristokids," the children of the super rich.
Frank says 30-40 trillion dollars will eventually be inherited in the next 10-20 years. Frank discusses the summer camps of these "aristokids," in which heirs learn life skills like signing prenuptial agreements.