With a net worth of nearly half a million, Darrell Issa (CA-R) is the richest man in any of the three branches of US government.
But were he at a meeting of China’s National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress, he’d rank only 166, according to the data from the the Hurun Report’s 2015 Global Rich List obtained by New York Times (via @ericfish85).
“The lack of institutional checks and balances allows politics and money to come together on a scale that is not imaginable in a capitalist country like the USA …” Steve Tsang, a professor of contemporary Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham in England, told the Times via email.
As of 2013, Issa was worth $US448.4 million. That’s poor, however, by Chinese politicians’ standards. Eighteen of China’s delegates have a net worth greater than the entirety of Congress, the nine Supreme Court justices, and President Obama’s cabinet.
In total, 106 members of China’s National People’s Congress and 97 members of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress, which opened Wednesday, are on Hurun’s China Rich List.
All together, their combined wealth hits $US463.8 billion.
By comparison, the median wealth of American politicians was just over $US1 million in 2013, according to CNN Money. Of course, that’s still 18 times the earning-power of the typical American household.
According to last year’s Hurun numbers, the 50 richest members of Congress held $US1.6 billion, while the 50 wealthiest NPC members controlled $US94.7 billion, as The Economist reported.
Together, the United States and China dominate the list of the worlds’ billionaires with 537 and 430, respectively — roughly half of the Hurun Report’s 2015 list. While Huron called New York the “billionaire capital of the world,” five Chinese cities go into the top 10: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzen, Taipei, and Shanghai.