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Philanthropy, the distant cousin of Capitalism.

It always amazes me how during recession or pandemic Billionaires continue to make money. The rich become richer and the poor become unemployed.


I can't say I'm a socialist in my world view, the idea of wealth creation has always interested me, particularly if that helped fund a project I was working on.


Yes particularly this year of 2020, I'm amazed by the huge gains made by the top ten richest people on the planet.


At the time of writing Here was the state of some of those top billionaire fortunes according to Forbes Real-Time Billionaires. Let's not forget the recorded $100b fortune was reported 25th November 2017.


Jeff Bezos, $190b (up $10b this week). Made his money from selling stuff to us, charging others to sell through his platform, then bringing out items that sell well in direct competition with his own suppliers, also owns Amazon Web Sevices (AWS), which charges companies for the ability to scale up their internet capacity on the fly, oh and of course Blue Origin. He is on track to become the world's first trillionaire.


Bill Gates, $116b (up $3.6b this week). The founder of Microsoft. We all couldn't avoid using windows in the 90's which shot Gates into Wealth. He left the company to peruse philanthropy and while he now only owns 1.3% of Microsoft (Still worth $13b), his investment straegy follows his friend Warren Buffet, long term diverse portfolio.


Mark Zukerburg, $106 (up $8b this week). The Facebook founder enjoys racking in the dollars by forcing us watch ads on his high addictive social media platform. Sporting 2.6b active users per month across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, his method is also clever, pop products into the market that provide stuff others charge for, for free, then when they go bust, start charging everyone.


Elon Musk, $93b (down $550m this week), probably the biggest risk taker of them all, the co-founder of paypal and now the CEO of Tesla, this ambition is unrivalled, the car company forces the market to go electric, then solar panel business, satellite internet and Space X, each one has the ability to become trillion-dollar enterprises, so its no suprise the early days were chaotic and risky, he nearly lost the entire proceed of his profit from Paypal on Tesla, then turned it around. When he enters the trucking and driverless taxi market, he could well over take Bezos to become the 'Richest man in the world'


So there are only four of hundreds of billionaires around the world now. These four have a collective worth $505 billion dollars and their future wealth will have no upper ceiling. When you consider the top six billionaires have a combined wealth exceeding the annual revenue of the UK.


So my question is, what are they doing to help ? The four above could pay a living wage (£8.72 per hour or $11.31) to every unemployed person (1.48m) in the UK for TEN YEARS and only then would they have spent $31.7b - or they would have only spent 6.2% of their combined wealth.


So next time you buy something from Amazon, use Facebook or if you could ever afford one, drive a Tesla, just make sure you know, you are purchasing something which keeps enriching the wealth of individuals who in general terms do not support philanthropy to the extent of their ability to do so.


Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/real-time-billionaires/#7cc5b6313d78


https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/employmentintheuk/january2020



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