a mind-blowing tweet

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In this tweet, Jeremiah Red writes:

“If you worked every single day, making $5000/day, from the time Columbus sailed to America, to the time you are reading this tweet, you would still not be a billionaire, and you would still have less money than Jeff Bezos makes in a week. No one works for a billion dollars.”

Of course I had to do that math. You can google, “how many days has it been since Columbus sailed to America” and get this date: October 12, 1492. Then you can google, “how many days since October 12, 1492.” That’s 192,489.

192,489 x $5000 = $962,445,000.

On top of that, I just saw this: “[Bill] Gates added $16 billion to his net worth this year, despite giving away over $35 billion to charity, according to Bloomberg.”

I do not know any billionaires personally. But imagine. A regular Joe or Jane who has expenses, mortgage, car payments, medical bills, etc. could make $5000-$8000 a month if they are fortunate. There are certainly people who rake in $8000-$15000 per month. And more. But if Joe or Jane made $5000 + expenses per day for 192,000+ days, he or she would still not have as much money as the people on these lists of billionaires.

Billionaires include Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, the Kochs, the owners of Walmart, the owners of Chick-fil-a, the owners of Hobby Lobby, etc etc etc.

According to the internets, America has approximately 43 million people living in poverty and approximately 100 million living near poverty. I don’t place any of the people on the billionaires list as somehow more special, more talented, more ambitious than any of the million nameless people struggling to put food on the table, maintain a car, keep a job, love their children and partners, let alone struggle with their addictions or hopes to succeed or just keep on track with a calm, drama free life.

I don’t understand why we all want to live in a world where some people’s wealth far exceeds anything most people can’t fathom. The point is lost on me.

I wish everyone were as fortunate as I was growing up, to win a life lottery, to have a great family raise me, and to have a lucrative path of an amazing life, to have freedom and goodness. To share it with others. To be some lucky, and yet not remotely close to the level of financial security as those who have generated more wealth than is humanly possible to deplete.

I’m just not sure why the case for grace is so limited. Whose right is it to say the list of billionaires is more important financially than the poor? Who worked harder? Who worked longer? Who had a leg up? Who was at the right place at the right time? The lightning strikes so infrequently and so fast, and who’s there to catch it?

 

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