Press "Enter" to skip to content

No One in South Dakota Makes Forbes 400

Milk and gasoline prices are up, and household wealth is down. Schadenfreude won’t feed the kids, but we may take some grim satisfaction in noting that the rich aren’t getting richer, either:

After a roaring 2021, the 400 richest people in the U.S.—along with many Americans—have been hit by rising inflation and falling markets. As a group, this year’s Forbes 400 is $500 billion poorer than they were a year ago. Their total net worth stands at $4 trillion, down 11% from last year.

The minimum net worth required to make the list also fell, by $200 million, to $2.7 billion. It’s the first time since the Great Recession that America’s ultrawealthy aren’t richer than the year before. Forbes calculated net worth using stock prices from September 2, 2022 [Chase Peterson-Withorn, “The 2022 Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans: Facts and Figures,” Forbes, 2022.09.27].

As we know from our discussion of regressive taxes, a dollar lost doesn’t have as big of an impact on a rich person as it does on a poor person. The average Forbes 400 member lost a billion dollars last year but still has $10 billion left. Unlike working people who lose 11% of their wealth, the Forbes 400 members who just lost a billion dollars can still walk into any store and buy anything they want.

Falling stock values helped T. Denny Sanford fall right off the Forbes 400 list. The Argus Leader notes that, with at least $500 million in donations on top of stock shrinkage, the richest South Dakotan’s wealth dwindled from $3.4 billion to $2 billion, dropping Sanford from 340th on last year’s Forbes count to 1,407th currently.

With Sanford’s decline, South Dakota no longer has anyone among the richest 400 Americans. Minnesota and North Dakota don’t have any top 400 billionaires, either; Wyoming has 3; Montana 2; Iowa and Nebraska, 1 each.

You’d think South Dakota’s self-evident freedom and “strongest economy in the nation” would induce those sensible capitalists to move to the Mount Rushmore state to maximize their wealth. Those rich folks have all the money they need (and #214 on the list, U-Haul heir/VP Mark Shoen, certainly has the moving trucks) to move wherever they want. But none are moving to South Dakota. Over 40% of them prefer to live in the Democratic states of California and New York.

  1. California: 80
  2. New York: 65
  3. Florida: 43
  4. Texas: 43
  5. Illinois: 17
  6. Georgia: 10

But hey: factor out the low-income skew of big prisons, and South Dakota has six of the twenty counties  with the lowest per capita income and four of the twenty counties with the lowest median household income in America.


  1. mike from iowa 2022-10-05 08:42

    OTOH, I was at Fiesta Foods Store and eggs were over 6 bucks a dozen and nearly 10 bucks for an 18 pack. You need to be a billionaire to buy groceries.

  2. mike from iowa 2022-10-05 08:43

    A gallon of milk at Wal Mart last week was $2.96.

  3. John 2022-10-05 09:52

    Yet, the morons insist on voting against their interests; here, and all over the central blob of the US from North Dakota to Oklahoma, to the Carolinas.
    You cannot fix stupid.

  4. P. Aitch 2022-10-05 10:27

    The Forbes 400 members who just lost a billion dollars can still walk into any store and buy anything they want?
    — This assertion shows naivety in how rich people think differently than yourself and the majority of SD residents.
    ~ Rich people don’t accumulate wealth to buy things or spend money in any definitive way. They become wealthy as a way of keeping score in the high stake’s world of masochistic, male competition.
    – Learn more at link below. No charge which is the way rich people acquire things they want. :0)

  5. leslie 2022-10-05 12:00

    remember, the rich don’t spend their money, they BORROW against their assets and accounts, and never pay it back. somehow. IRS Koch code and SD Trust Industry.

    Panama papers investigative journalists document and link this, as posted here previously.

  6. All Mammal 2022-10-05 12:43

    Tell Zieboch and Todd Counties we have the best economy in the nation. Ha! That is a farce. Anybody who says SD has a booming economy is a cruel liar.

  7. ABC 2022-10-05 23:58

    Buffalo county is still the poorest county in the USA! Gann Valley, Fort Thompson.

    Why don’t we create the Cory or Aberdeen 800,000? You can achieve this list if you are in the bottom 95% of incomes in So Dak!

    Instead of wealth inequality and the Gini co efficient, why not create a rich on any income lifestyle, Now!

    Sure we could wait till the cowboys say, Yeah Joe Biden is a sissy, we need to dump that centrist a Democrat crap and go Full Hard Left, Full Scandinavian! But it’s faster to build it and test it ourselves, right?

    This is not tongue in cheek, this is full bore, Let’s do this!

    So really it’s not the list. It’s the rich on any income lifestyle.

    Here’s how—teach people the truth! You are just as righteous and brilliant as any billionaire or millionaire @!
    Teach this lifestyle! Don’t bee-lieve in the aww shucks we’re all poor mythology!

    Try it! Be a co-liberator of 820 thousand Dakotans South! Invert the antidiverse biggotted mythology! Don’t quack capitalism! Talk cubit-Alism! What you have now, cube it by circulating it! Yeah that’s $999 x 999 x 999 ! That’s big money! Does it work! Yeah let’s try it and do it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.