The problem with being a billionaire

5 minutes, 56 seconds

Income inequality is rapidly on the rise. As the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Monopoly teaches you that digging yourself out of a hole is difficult. But if you're rich, you can invest in real estate or the stock market and have your money make money for you. Although the original version of Monopoly by Lizzie Magie was meant to show you we all win when we share, and monopolies are bad. Consequently, we have more billionaires than ever. And that's not a good thing, despite what some may think, mostly only billionaires.

The biggest thing defendants usually say is, "Well, they earned it." No, they didn't. Although there are always exceptions, in most cases, you inherited the wealth (you literally did nothing), or the people around you/employed by you did most of the work (you didn't do much in that case either). Yet, those employees reap none of the rewards. If you paid your employees fairly and gave them good benefits, it would be virtually impossible for you to be ultra-rich. You're making your money off someone else's work. This is paid slavery and should be illegal. If you think enslaved people had it worse, they clearly did, but it's not much different in some respects. Besides getting paid, they both get treated like crap, have no benefits, and can't really leave. Sure, as an employee can go elsewhere. But if your other options are just another shitty job, that's not much difference, is there? With wages stagnating, it's no wonder employees only do the bare minimum. There's no incentive to try harder. For the record, it’s possible to be a millionaire doing things the right way. But it’s virtually impossible to be a billionaire without screwing someone else over.

Uber is just one example of a company trying to get away with as much paid slavery as possible. Uber doesn't seem to understand that the drivers are their product, or more accurately, they don't care. Without them, they have nothing. People aren't going to give them money if they don't have anything to offer. They'd be a bunch of stupid executives sitting in a boardroom doing absolutely nothing. But this is what they desire. They want to be given money without doing anything. Basically, they want to be king, and they want enslaved people. It makes you wonder what is wrong with someone they think that highly of themselves, especially at the expense of other people. But they went all in at stopping Proposition 22 in California, and they won. Their drivers are not employees. But if their drivers are not employees, what does their company do? I guess it's just an app that connects people, like a dating site. Only you don't get paid by a dating site when you complete a date.

Back to billionaires, Atlanta Falcons owner and Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank recently bought a gigantic yacht. Someone who attends every Falcons game wouldn't be able to use the yacht for five months out of the year. If you spend 180 million on a yacht, you would think you would use it more often. I can think of several better things you can do with 180 million dollars than buying a yacht. But he must be highly insecure if he needed to buy that. The other popular thing to do is start a space company like an Amazon billionaire. Josh Harris just purchased his third sports team. It's odd someone can own multiple sports teams when most don't even own their home. Harris seems decent and has donated at least 30 million over the last decade to worthy causes. But it doesn't change the fact that having that much wealth is bad for society.

Randall D. Smith is another good one. He spent $57.2 million on 16 Palm Beach mansions. That's right, 16. They are investment and rental properties, but how many do you need? I would have rental properties too, but I would never have that many. Plus, if I could afford that many, I would rent them out cheaper than market value to help someone. I've done that with my guest room several times already. That's not something he's going to do. When Smith's son Caleb asked why he worked, he replied, "It's a game, and I love it." How would he know who won the game? Caleb asked. He replied, "Whoever dies with the most money." Yuck. It's not like you take the money with you when you die, so it's quite a pointless goal.

Then there's the Slacker family, who notoriously started a whole opioid epidemic to get rich. They knowingly sold people a highly addictive drug who didn't need it solely to make money. They even made a song about pushing the product at a sales rep meeting. Then they took the money from the company and put it in their name so they couldn't lose it if the victims sued the company. They even made a settlement that shielded them from any lawsuits. Thankfully that was overturned. Sadly, they still aren't in jail. I don't even know how they look at themselves in the mirror.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to earn money or have a nice life. But only to a certain extent. If you're buying things just because you can, to mask your insecurities, or because you think it's a game, there are better things you can do with money. And if you think it's a game, what you should have learned from Monopoly is that someone else has to lose for you to win.

I'd like to own multiple homes simply to make traveling easier. But I wouldn't want too many. It would be ludicrous to have that many and to pay that much in taxes. I was trying to calculate how much money would be too much money. Even though I clearly don't need this much money to live, I came up with 30 million. That's so I could own multiple homes, pay their taxes, and afford a kid or two if I ever had them. Again, I don't need that much. It's only if I wanted to live an extraordinary life. But once past that amount, I have zero reasons to have more. It would literally be pointless.

As a child, during class playtime, if a kid had five toys and the kid next to him had none, the teacher would come over and say, you need to share your toys. The kid might throw a tantrum, and they would surely be given a timeout. They might return and finally give them one or two toys or the teacher might just take them. In any case, this is the right and fair thing to do.

As an adult, nothing happens if you have a billion dollars and your neighbors are in great need, and you give them nothing. Ironic because the kid doesn't know any better yet is forced to do the right thing. Adults should know better, but they do not do the right thing. And because no one punishes them, they continue doing the wrong thing.