A TikTok video showcasing the net wealth of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has taken the internet by storm. TikTok star from the silicon valley Humphrey Yang showed the net wealth of the billionaire with the help of grains of rice. In the video, Yang uses one grain of rice to represent 100,000 rice and takes 10 grains to represent 1 million rice. He goes on to count the grains up to a number of 10000 to represent 1 billion grains of rice. Bringing his point home, in his second part of the video, Yang shows that 58 pounds of rice will be needed to represent the total wealth of Bezos amounting to $122 billion dollars.
The visual demonstration of mounting inequality between the large swathes of population and a handful of billionaires won many hearts on the internet and initiated conversations around the socio-economic issues. The Silicon Valley-based TikTok star who has more than 2.5 lakh followers, regularly makes videos on the issue of financial literacy. Users who commented on the video observed that the video made it easier for people to understand the rising inequality without getting entangled in the maze of numbers.
The video led to a wide range of responses from the netizen. Some wondered whether a crumbled fraction of a grain would suffice to represent their wealth. Some wanted Yang to make another video comparing the salary of millions of workers employed in Amazon. A user suggested that another part of video be made on the interest the huge amount of $122 billion accrues for Bezos. A tiny section of people also gave an open call to put the shutter down of the world’s largest e-commerce platform while some showed their anguish by uttering an expletive or two for Bezos. This is not the first time rising inequality and poverty have been bared threadbare. Statisticians and scholars have often talked about the micro percentage of people controlling more than 95 per cent of the wealth. But this attempt by the TikTok star is an extremely novel way to deal with the issue of inequality.