It always irritates me how people measure the wealth of billionaires with their own mindset. “$100 billion? You can’t spend that! He has too much! How many people could have a nice life with this money… We should do something about it!”. Or they count how many houses and yachts they can afford.
I see a few problems with this kind of thinking:
- Billionaires do not have all their wealth at disposal. If they wanted to liquidate all at once, they would have to sell all their shares in the companies they helped to build.
- Even if you could get $100 billion, you would be able to give 100 million people $1000 each, which they would have spent in a month on some perishable goods, and the long-term effect would be zero. Meanwhile a $100 billion dollar company will make a difference in the lives of many people for years to come.
- Billionaires are people who usually only spend a small chunk of their wealth on consumption, the rest is invested in factories and research. Liquidating and consuming their wealth is the dumbest thing you can do, if you look for long-term effects. I’d rather Elon Musk have $100 billion at disposal than a 100 milion random people each a $1000.