On Billionaires

A recent newspaper article had a quiz from the Globalist, stating that there are twenty people in the world with an individual net worth of more than $40 billion each. Twelve of them live in the United States.

Here is the list:

  1. Jeff Bezos of Amazon
  2. Bill Gates of Microsoft
  3. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway
  4. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook
  5. Larry Ellison of Oracle
  6. Larry Page of Google
  7. Sergey Brin of Google
  8. Charles Koch of the Koch Brothers
  9. David Koch of the Koch Brothers
  10. Rob Walton, heir of Walmart
  11. Jim Walton, heir of Walmart
  12. Alice Walton, heir of Walmart

Nobody reads newspapers anymore except for me and a few other people over sixty, so I am bringing this to your attention. Why, you ask? Because you need to know that some of the richest people in America also run businesses that pay the lowest wages (Walmart, Amazon). Amazon has announced a pay raise, so there’s that. But if you don’t have Amazon Prime, you, the shopper, can’t get the lowest prices at Whole Foods.

Excuse me, I am not paying the richest man in the world $99.00 a year for the privilege of getting low prices at Whole Foods and free two-day shipping. I don’t shop at Whole Foods anymore. I do occasionally buy from Amazon, but if I can get it locally, I do it that way instead.

I have been to Walmart once, and I will not shop at a store where they hold food drives for their own employees and let senior employees get trampled to death on Black Friday.  Give them a raise, Walton heirs. Come on! It’s not like you three need any more money.

Bill Gates is the angel of the list in that he and his wife Melinda have donated a ton of money to various causes.

Mark Zuckerberg is letting us poor people use Facebook for free, so he’s okay. The Google guys also let us use their invention for free, so I like them, too, although I don’t like the way they scanned a bunch of books with no regard to copyright laws (I am an author and hold 29 copyrights).

Larry Ellison has his own Hawaiian island and a big sailboat, but that’s all I know about him.

Warren Buffett got his start in Omaha, where I lived for six years, so I guess he’s okay. After all, he’s filthy rich and still stays in Omaha, not exactly paradise on Earth, so that’s something.

The other eight richest people are Swedish Ingvar Kamprad of IKEA furniture, Francois Bettencourt Meyers, granddaughter of the founder of L’Oreal, Jack Ma and Pony Ma of China (Crazy Rich Asians?), Carlos Slim of Mexico, one dude from India, one in Malaysia and one from Australia.

What about the Power Ball  and Mega Millions lotteries? A joke is going around on social media that whoever wins the huge jackpots will be the first billionaires to pay taxes.

The big question is:  who needs a billion dollars, or in the case of these twelve Americans, 40 billion dollars?

They could all take a lesson from Bill and Melissa Gates, and share some of their wealth, either in their own communities, or across the country in the charity of their choice.

Do these people have bodyguards? I would hope so.  They have to be careful, no matter what they do.

Sometimes it’s good to be a middle-class, taxpaying, relatively-anonymous person.

And if I changed my name to Larry, I might have a better shot at being a billionaire.

Couldda Wouldda Shouldda

I should’ve bought a lottery ticket, but I forgot.





2 thoughts on “On Billionaires

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