A Billion Dollars Answer

The world needs a radical new way of thinking. Well, not so radical. I think it is more to do with common sense.

We recently shared to our Facebook page a post about the richest one hundred people worldwide making enough money to end poverty in the world four times over. We got a fair bit of action on that post and actually spurred more of a conversation then we expected.

Balance of Wealth Needed.

We actually only shared it because it seemed to be an interesting tidbit of information, but ended up getting a meaningful debate on the subject. Why is it when we start to talk about the “haves” and the “have nots” and how the world needs to balance out that the conversation always comes down to those that have giving to those that do not have. There needs to be a balance of wealth come about and it does not have to include giving away anything.

Spare Some Change For a Coffee?

Most people already feel they are paying too much for things like gasoline and electricity. Food prices are on the rise globally but you can bet that the farmers aren’t getting rich from this price spike. People have come to the realization that cable prices are way too high hence the emergence of Netflix and now Amazon Prime along with a slew of other lesser known companies. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We could get into what you are paying for a loaf of bread, or a new car. Things like how much clothing companies are making, or insurance profits, but let’s just consider that people in control of the things we either need or have come to depend on in today’s society are making astronomical amounts of money on the backs of hard working people. Let’s put this into perspective, we are not talking about mom and pop convenience stores or cafes on the corner. We are talking about people that are worth 50-60 billion dollars. That’s not a typo, billion dollars. I can’t even comprehend that amount. Think of the frenzy recently that just went on with the Powerball lottery with a grand prize of just over ONE billion. These people could have given away that much and not even noticed. Think of it this way, if you have $60 in your pocket and then bought a coffee, you would now have roughly $59. You wouldn’t really even notice with the exception of the fact that you might have a little change in your pocket from one of the twenties you had to break to get that coffee. That’s right, the only reason you might really notice that you no longer have $60 in your pocket is because of that CHANGE in your pocket. Change. That’s what it comes down to.

He Made More Having a Nap Then You Did All Year.

To put it another way, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, the man that took over the late Steve Jobs position, in 2011 made just under $380 MILLION dollars (these aren’t typos folks). Some would say that he works for his money, and I am sure he does, but most of us do. Let’s break this down a little more for those of us that have a hard time with such large numbers. Considering that most of my readers are from households with average incomes I thought I would break it down to an hourly rate. $377,996,537 is the exact figure supplied from therichest.com. I divided that number by the 365, the number of days in a year and then divided that by 24, which is the total number of hours in a day to give me a number that he makes per hour. $43,150. Again, no typo, math has been checked and rechecked. That’s not far from the average YEARLY income for most North Americans. So he makes per HOUR what most would make in a year. He makes PER HOUR of EVERY hour whether he is working eating sleeping playing golf or whatever you can imagine the same as most people make in a whole year! You can argue that he is expected to be available every hour of every day so he should be being paid for this time, but there are a lot of people that are in professions that require this. Doctors, police, firemen and women and the military to name just a few, but they do not make anything close to this figure. Now if your argument is that they CHOSE that profession, well so did Tim Cook, so what makes him worth that much more money? Before I lose you, this is not in any way a socialist rant and will not turn out that way, I promise you.

We Never Needed Those Things When I Was Young.

My question is, are these, or any people really worth this much money? Maybe the free market would suggest that to be the truth, but what is happening to the free market now when employed people are having a hard time feeding their families or paying the electricity bill, or worse, losing their homes because things have gotten so out of hand with some things that might be considered essential in today’s society. I am not talking about bread and water, well, I am, but also things that might not necessarily be essential to sustain life, but nonetheless essential in today’s society. You could argue that electricity is not essential but, really? In today’s society, it is pretty important. How would one cook, or clean without electricity? Cell phones and internet are also important and if you disagreed I would wonder if you have loved ones that need to go out late at night to work, or older children that you might need to keep track of. In a society where phone booths are practically non-existent we cannot even begin to compare “when we were younger….”

An Extra $100 Per Week

I am not suggesting that any of these things be given to anyone. They all have value and should be paid for. But are they really worth the price that is being asked for them? Again, you might say that the free market dictates that they are, but could there be a better way than this free market? What if, and there are a lot of what ifs, you saved 20 or 30 dollars on your grocery bill, the same with electricity and maybe kept an extra $10 in your wallet after filling your gas tank. Another 15 or 20 dollars on your cell bill. Think about what you might do with an extra hundred dollars in your pocket every week. Like most, you might take advantage of it and spend some, after getting caught up on some bills. But that extra you spend, multiplied by some 40 odd million North Americans will definitely boost the economy better than any way any multi-billionaire could do it. Also consider that if you are getting by on what you have now, that would mean that others slightly less fortunate than you are at this moment would then be able to be in your position if all prices were lowered. I guess what I am getting at is the poverty line threshold would be lowered by several thousand dollars per year. Now all these people that couldn’t afford cell phones or going out to a restaurant or doing home renovations will now be able to do that once in a while. This should create more jobs which in turn should create more wealth for the masses. I could be wrong, as I am no economist, but this should have a snowballing effect distributing more and more money amongst the ever lowering poverty line.

What’s An Extra 20 Billion Dollars?

Sure, one or two hundred people might have to live with 20 or 30 billion dollars less, but think of the benefits to the millions of people who could now afford to live a better life. Nobody’s giving away anything, people will still need to work for what they have, giving them pride in ownership, and those that have created empires will still have more than they could ever use.

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