For Richer and Poorer – Sunday Sayings

Polish Palace in Warsaw
Palace in Warsaw

Weekly Proverb

When I had money everyone called me brother

Polish proverb

metropolis people busy

“The gap between rich and poor is now at a level where Europe, at the time of the French revolution, looks positively socialistic by comparison:

~The three wealthiest people in the world today now own more than the poorest 48 nations combined!

~The top 1% owns more than half the total wealth of Earth.

We live in a world of scarcity, of needs and wants and unfulfilled dreams. And we, ourselves, are the ones who made it that way. https://northerndragon.blog/

wealthiest people in the world

  • Mark Zuckerberg. Net Worth: $61 Billion. …
  • Carlos Slim Helu. Net Worth: $61.7 Billion. …
  • Larry Ellison. Net Worth: $64.1 Billion. …
  • Amancio Ortega. Net Worth: $67 Billion. …
  • Warren Buffett. Net Worth: $82.7 Billion. …
  • Bernard Arnault. Net Worth: $83.7 Billion. …
  • Bill Gates. Net Worth: $98.3 Billion. …
  • Jeff Bezos. Net Worth: $145.3 Billion – CEO of Amazon

Do you feel that there is something fundamentally wrong here?

How is it possible to have this much wealth concentrated in just 8 names? It is beyond my comprehension what you might do with this much money. How does someone with this much wealth stays balanced? Do they see their money on only being ‘on paper?’

Would such enormous wealth corrupt you?

Wealth does not involve having many things, pointed out Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a Genevan philosopher in 1754, it involves having what we long for.

“Wealth is not absolute, it’s relative to desire. “

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

How much money do a person really desire, or need, over the course of any given year, in order to have what each might consider, a great life?

What would you do with such enormous wealth?

Weeklyquote

“Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.”

Chris Rock

44 thoughts on “For Richer and Poorer – Sunday Sayings

    • To give them some credit, both Gates and Buffet are well aware, and at least make an effort. Whether or not it’s the right effort is a matter of debate – and therein starts another problem !

      Liked by 2 people

      • Indeed, M-R. I don’t know much about Buffet, but my tech guru son tells me about philanthropic Gates a good bit. It is commendable. But more is possible when he and Mark Zuckerberg may become the first trillionaires.

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  1. The frightening thing to me is WHERE IS IT LEADING ? One has to see this ghastly situation only continuing to worsen – but is that actually _possible_ ? Can the world’s wealth become even more concentrated ?
    And why don’t all of them see what the Gates and Warren B see ?
    Imponderables.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even more concentrated? Goodness – what a world that would be. Absolute wealth would give them absolute power to do anything and say anything, buy nations and dictate anything. Inponderable how the juggernaut can be halted.

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  2. Is all that obscene wealth somehow related to our form of democracy and freedom? Governments generally get or stay into power by promising more material goodies, more money etc. They don’t really concern themselves by promising more beauty or more flowers, better relations, better communities, friendships, sharing. Our Government stayed into power by giving…tax cuts and better border control. I don’t get terribly excited by that sort of Government. Do you?
    Is better border control something that drives our society to a better space?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No it is not, Gerard. I am not happy with the direction this government is taking. They don’t govern, just attack the opposition and whip up paranoia. What pro -active improvement has been done of significance in the last three year that they can claim was SOLELY their initiative? I don’t see much.
      As for the obscene wealth – I think that is related to capitalism and the finite economy.

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      • I agree that the wealth these people have should be being used to help our countries veterans, among other things. Their wealth is going to grow. One person doesn’t need so much of it. (My opinion) Being financially comfortable from hard work is not a bad thing. However, for so few individuals to hold so much seems, to me, they have a responsibility to pay it forward. It seems nuts that they have more money to help our society than the government programs designed to do so.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely. They have worked hard, but are they due this much money? They can’t spend it all if they tried. Should we have capped profits? The rest going to support welfare and charities?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Capping is an interesting thought, as many live in homes that’s aren’t even used. The profits should go to groups such as our veteran’s healthcare-they should have no reason to live on the streets. Domestic violence, child and adult sex trafficking, welfare, homeless-the list is endless when it comes to what our country needs. And let them be involved in them so they can make sure the money goes to its intended destination. I wonder really what their thought process is….

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am really shocked that America does not care more for its veterans – given that your troops are active in many theatres of conflict. So there must be many men affected by the lack of affordable heathcare. I heard from an Australian author Anna Funder who was living in New York with her family, and her children were attending a school where a female veteran came to speak. Before she arrived, the children had been sent home requesting tins of food and warm clothing to be brought in to school, as a donation for her, because the veteran was living in her car! I was so shocked. In Australia, Veterans have the highest level of free healthcare priveleges,much more so than the rest of the public. Every medical service is free for them. They have many problems but homelessness is not usually one of them. I hope things change for your veterans. I think we should petition these wealthy guys and ask if they could lend them a hand. What if it happened to their son or daughter?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Completely agree!!! It’s embarrassing as an American to see this. They should have free healthcare, etc. Greed and popular vote play too big a part in this country!

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  3. Amanda, the figures are staggering and extraordinary disproportionate. I read recently that in Denmark that the difference between the highest earning and the lowest earning person is just five times! These make sense. The amounts quoted here are unfathomable to normal people – the only saving grace is that many are now giving a large portion of their wealth to charity foundations. eg. The Gates one is valued at over $ 50 billion.

    Liked by 2 people

      • It would be difficult to get companies who are mindful of their own purse, to give away their hard earned profits, I think. This is where the philanthropists have a more enlightened view. Once you have more money than you can spend, it is far easier to part with it, I suspect.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for posting this, Amanda! It is most appreciated 🙂

    May I offer a Greek proverb?
    “It is better in times of need to have a friend rather than money.”

    As for your question…
    True to form, Zuckerberg is in a race to build Africa’s internet infrastructure. But – Internet access is not by far the most pressing issue on that continent. Water is. There is groundbreaking research ongoing for how to extract, for instance, water out of air, using wind- or solar-driven systems. The Waterseer is one of them. While that one may not work as well as hoped, others could – and a billion $ here or there could well mean the difference between a vague dream and actual reality
    Water is also, by the way, one of the central points of conflict in the Middle-East, and a major reason why there is still no peace to be found in the Palestine question.

    For those with truly immense resources, there are also the option of entering into the very interesting research ongoing with solar cells, to add a factor 50 (or more) to their present-day efficiency…

    Sadly though, these are still but dreams. And while people with immense resources may be able to do immense good as well, I have yet to see it actually happen on any meaningful scale…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Some really interesting stuff going on. Some geared towards our betterment, but I am unsure about the waterseer. Water is a finite resource, if you take it out of the air, what will replace it? What impact would that have on weather systems? The solar cells however sound fantastic. We could power our region of the world with the amount of sunlight we have here on our continent! Well at least the pacific islands. I also would love to see research on storing geothermal energy or tidal energy. Drawing from these, do not seem to have any deleterious effects as nuclear, coal, energy. I am aware of the Palestinian conflicts from my days as a Uni student subscribing to New Internationalist magazine!! ( those were the days), however wasn’t aware that water was a grave concern. Interesting aspect. Thanks for enlightening me. I always enjoy our conversations, as there is always much for me to learn. Your depth of general knowledge is inspirational.

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  5. I loved Chris Rock’s quote. A thought provoking post Amanda. I think a couple of people on your list of the worlds most wealthy are using a percentage of their wealth to benefit the more needy in our world, including vaccination programs for third world countries. To donate all, or much of their wealth would deplete the funds from which they can draw upon. But to set up trusts that use a continual percentage of their growing wealth to provide benefit where it’s needed, surely that’s a good thing. The art of growing money just comes naturally to some people. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. If I was though, I wouldn’t be giving it all away to benefit where it was needed, but rather I too would set up trusts that provided a continual source of income for causes that touched my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Self generating income for not for profit charities would be the best outcome of all, Chris. Of course, they would not or could not give it all away. Gates and apparently Buffet do this, and finances do fluctuate. Apparently one entrepeneur made it to the top ten list only to lose 600 million the next day on the stock market, and so dropped out of the top ten wealthiest. I suppose their losses can be as astronomical as their gains Good comment, Chris. A valuable point to remember. Balancing charity, need, future financial security and market volatility would take some skill.

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      • Most of the top wealthiest seem to have a natural ability to grow money. Even the entrepreneur who lost much of his fortune has probably re-gained quite a bit of it back by now. Oh to have that ability…. what we could and would do to make the world a better place.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Social inequity is becoming more and more extreme! I don’t have any particular solutions other than how much money does anyone person really need?!? The richest people in the world couldn’t possibly spend it all on themselves. But then again who knows. When I checked out of my hotel in California last week I chatted with the 40 something receptionist about life. She to.d me that she has to work four different jobs, and puts in 80+ hours a week just to make ends meet. I didn’t have the courage to ask her about benefits like health insurance which I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have. This kind of situation isn’t unique here in the US. People work for wages that simply don’t cover most of the basics and a little extra. Did you know that roughly 40% of the population here does NOT have $400.00 to cover an emergency! People live paycheck to paycheck, including so many veterans who put their lives on the line for their country. There is often talk about how great they are and yet when it comes down to helping them readjust to civilian life and giving them the healthcare, including mental healthcare they have earned and deserve and badly need … crickets. Now there’s talk of privatizing the VA. I wonder who will profit from that!?! This stuff just makes my blood boil. Always the profits for a few, regardless of the human cost to those who can least defend themselves. Sad!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Gosh, Sabine. What a sad state when VA is left to the private sector. Some things should just stay with government., shouldn’t they? Like prisons. What a stupid idea to privatise prisons!
      It is always the retail and hospitality that are the hardest hit when it comes to stabilty and wages. Here in Australia, they have just cut – yes CUT penalty rates for those workers. These are people who want to work, and work hard, but don’t have the ability to attend university, and so their options are lowered. In a modern age, we should be increasing wages but they have been stagnant for three years, and there was a report saying that Australian workers are largely burnt out, working over their capacity for the large 5 years. It sounds even worse in the land of the Great American dream. What has happened to that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh gosh is right! It’s not just that these veterans often don’t get timely care, they’re being denied care. When they leave the military they often get flagged as “pre-existing condition” when they return home with serious mental issues from having had to be in unbelievable war situations. I don’t get it! I’m not at all for fighting wars, but when you send these young people (most of very modest means) into harms way and make promises, keep them!! And don’t get me even started on private prisons! Right now they’ve set up tent cities in the deserts where they keep undocumented young migrants and refugees locked up. Children in cages and separated from their parents! I can’t believe what is happening. No country is perfect, but more and more it’s all about the money and profits for those who already have more than enough of everything. Where will it all end?
        I had to google Australian penalty rates. We call it overtime and holiday pay. Unions are disappearing here which is bad for those without higher education. And most people in regular jobs get no benefits like vacation pay, sick leave, health insurance, paid maternity leave, etc.. Many of these workers are angry and that’s understandable. The level of poverty, hunger and living on the edge often lead to entire families to becoming homeless. While some individuals do seem to like that life style, most are just trying to survive. I have been depressed about the state of affairs here for a while. Sad thing is it’s nearly impossible to “do something” about any of it. People don’t vote and don’t get unbiased information.
        I do think the private sector does a lot of things well, but profiting from locking up people and denying veterans earned medical benefits is just really disgusting.
        Sorry for my rant, Amanda! This stuff just gets my blood boiling!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is good to get it off your chest, Sabine. And as I mentioned in another comment, I am not one to stick my head in the sand, even though I respect others who want and feel they have to do so. Conversations and discussions enlighten our viewpoints and perspectives, and if we never hear of other’s opinions, it becomes a conspriracy of silence and horrific things continue unabated. The tent cities in the desert of America sounds a bit like out Manus Island and Nauru offshore detention for Australia asylum seekers. Children in tents, fenced in, along with their parents, for years, awaiting recognition of their detention status. They all developed self-harm and severe mental health issues. The only cure for these documented health issues is to get them out of detention. This policy of our govenment is all under the umbrella of “deterrents” to others so called asylum seekers who try the perilous journey acroxx the Timor Sea to reach the West Australian coast. People here are very frightened of being ‘overrun.’ They don’t want their society to change. They don’t see any benefits, unfortunately. There was a TV program here recently that took hard line folks with ultra conservative views and linked them up with ex-asylum seekers/refugees who had been through detention. Despite some early difficulties, the most of the ultra conservatives changed their hard line stance and became sympathetic to the refugees’ plight when faced with hard facts in front of their eyes. I don’t know if you are able to see it, but it was very interesting and shows that underneath some of folk’s robust hide, there is a caring human being if their eyes and mind can be opened and the right information is shared – (another problem with dissemination of one sided information through media channels). This is why conversation is important. It can open the mind.
        And the homeless and everyone who has an opinion should absolutely vote! How could they abstain?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve seen reports about those off-shore refugee camps and think they’re awful! I can’t understand how anyone can be so stone hearted and cold thinking it would prevent desperate humans trying to find a safe living situation. It’s the same here with the refugees from Central America. As long as the reasons and causes of the horrific conditions in the countries of origin aren’t addressed, the flow of desperation will continue.
        Here in the US the Republican Party is working hard to make it ever more difficult for minorities to vote. Florida voted to let convicted felons vote again after they have served their sentence and now these politicians are going against the will of the voters by trying to circumvent the election results. There are many hoops to jump through for people to vote. One has to have a permanent address, register in the right state, vote in the right place, and more and more they make it inconvenient for people of lesser means to get to the polls. People are disenfranchised and stay home!
        Years ago I watched a program by Noam Chomsky about East Timor. I really appreciate all his work.
        Keeping the conversation open and polite with people who have different views and beliefs is important, but some of them here don’t make it easy or appealing. I hope that sooner rather than later sanity prevails all around the globe. Maybe those who make these terrible decisions on the treatment of human beings should be interned themselves for a year or more. Perhaps it would give them a new perspective. I can think of a number of candidates needing to get a taste of their own medicine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • What a fantastic idea, Sabine. For the pollies to lIve in internment for 2 days and see if they think it is humane. I can imagine that would change their minds, for sure. Whether it would translate into action, is anyone’s guess.
        Changing perspective is sorely needed – and this is why Noam Chomsky’s work is fantastic. I am a fan! He makes so much sense! I listened to a youtube clip of his explaining the reasons behind the creation of the modern Western democracy and in particular the American constitution. It was fascinating and explains why the lower socio-economic classes are less represented in parliaments.
        Having said all that I had little idea that voting was so difficult for some, in the USA. How many people are on the move – itinerant workers who don’t have a permanent address? They are disenfranchised! What a democratic injustice. Why are there no protests about this from the disenfranchised? I feel so sad that they have no voice!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Change starts with information and awareness, Sabine! Keep doing what you are doing! Getting the messages out there. I wonder is it possible for a person to get elected in American politics if they are not well heeled?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for saying so, Jo. Not everyone can express their views or even wants to do so, online. I fully understand and acknowledge that. And the subject is negative and hard to see any good in it, but neither do I want to get a sandy head. Lol 😉 In our family, we have loads of political discussions, so I am little more comfortable than yourself with discussing politics online, – as long as the conversation is respectful of all sides.

      Liked by 1 person

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