What Billionaires Should Do

There’s been some debate on what billionaires should do with their money. Someone suggested that just 2% of Elon Musk’s money could save 42 million people around the world from starvation. https://gizmodo.com/elon-musk-could-save-42-million-from-starvation-with-ju-1847942954 (the comment section is perhaps the best part of this article)

Prince William, (who sounded a bit like my mother when she thought I should spend my entire life living at home, ‘there’s nothing for you out there’) said billionaires need to stay home and fix the problems here instead of gallivanting around space:

“William, who was interviewed about climate change ahead of his inaugural Earthshot Prize awards, said: ‘We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.’” https://worldnewsera.com/news/uk/prince-william-says-billionaires-should-fix-this-planet-not-look-to-space/

Dear Prince William:

Perhaps like me, you’ve looked out and saw the utter gorgeousness of nature, the peaceful, tranquil treasures this planet offers us every day.

You’ve also seen the devastation of peoples, animals, and the planet.

And wondered, “How is it possible to have such extremes? How can there be so much awe and amazement? And so much deliberate wreckage?”

We look to others to do something to make the world better.

We often look to the rich, thinking their HUGE bank accounts will surely offer some solutions.

Alas, people don’t like it when we tell them ‘what to do with their money’. No one likes advice on ways to depart from their cash. I sure don’t, I worked hard for it and Donate/Save/Spend in whatever ways I believe are most important.

Also, we can’t change anybody’s mind. No matter how many facts and stats we offer, or how much pleading we do. Some people can’t see past their own worldview.

That doesn’t mean we stop trying to make the world better.

My response to Prince William’s statement.

  1. I think you may be mistaking ‘rich for ‘having great brains and minds. They are not the same thing. Jeff, Elon, Mark, Bill, Donald, Joe – they may all have money, but that is not an indicator of intelligence. It simply shows that they know how to pry hard-earned cash away from the rest of the population, and stuff it into their own pockets. This is all their billionaire status proves – their impressive greediness. They are not a Billion times smarter, nor did they work a Billion more hours, than the rest of us. Sure, they were ‘intelligent’ enough to overwork/underpay employees, and hire people to design and build rockets. They were ‘intelligent’ enough to buy items at a low price, and sell them to us at outrageous prices. Their success comes from taking advantage of a good idea, mixed with a little well-to-do family funding, some shrewd manipulations, a bit of nicely-placed timing, and a little luck, and there you have a billionaire. https://www.technologyreview.com/2018/03/01/144958/if-youre-so-smart-why-arent-you-rich-turns-out-its-just-chance/ There are far smarter people who have no interest in starving entire populations by overworking and underpaying them, and then turning around and forcing them to buy products and services they need for outrageous prices. Or wrecking the whole planet while harvesting all its resources, and then dumping the unending trash on unsuspecting people. Or destroying the policies of nations.
  2. It will take more than ‘intelligent’ people to save Humanity. It will take a combination of ‘Intelligence and Caring’. We have to learn to use both brain hemispheres, and our hearts to do the right things. Those are not always allotted in the same measure to each person. There are plenty smart people who are busy doing smart things. There are plenty kind people doing kind things. But until we can get them together to share their information and resources, people will continue to snark at each other and won’t make much of an impact.
  3. Rocket ships are not the only place to find smart people. Smart people do not live in the ‘public eye’. Kind people aren’t out ‘glory-hogging’. Smart, kind people are busy inventing, discovering, exploring, learning, and creating, in their barns, back yards, fields, forests, classrooms, labs, and libraries.
  4. Smart and kind people are busy people. They are protecting, caring for, and offering hope to the hungry, the homeless, the abused, the displaced, the addicted, the lost, and the lonely. They are cleaning up human-made trash from oceans, shores, beaches, ditches, cities, towns, lakes, ponds, and forests. They are reducing, reusing, recycling, rebuilding, remaking, and reinventing better options for all the destruction they see around them.
  5. Humans should be smart and kind enough to never hunt or fish animals and plants to extinction. We should not need such things as the Endangered Species Act and the Lacey Act.
  6. Instead of having a spot on our social media accounts for intimate relationship status, the spot should be assigned to, “What are you doing to make the world better?” Your relationships, who you love, are no one’s business but your own. Your love should be a special sacredness that only you and your true love get to enjoy. On the other hand, what you’re doing to save the world, that concerns all of us.
  7. I’m not advocating the immediate shut-down of our current energy sources – oil, coal, gas… But it makes no sense to me that ‘smart billionaires’ haven’t learned to utilize abundant resources, and interconnect these energy sources. We have a never-ending abundance of huge Trash Mountains, and Donated Clothes Mountains, and Technological Waste Mountains – all of these could be used for energy, or reused in a million different ways. We also have plenty of sunshine, blowing winds, and flowing waters – there must be a better way to harness these energies and interconnect them to our old sources, so we don’t have to keep mining the earth in search of such few old energy sources. We should be able to figure this out, and create thousands of jobs, design the means to connect the resources, and manufacture and install the technology and software to do this correctly, with the least impact on the earth.
  8. Humans do not understand the actual size of our planet and what resources are available. They do not understand that they must keep the population growth in line with what our planet can hold. When humans are told this, they ‘fight back’, ‘the government can’t tell them what to do’. The sobering truth is, the government shouldn’t have to tell people what to do! Humans should be smart enough to control their own family growth. We should be smart enough to learn how to slow down, or increase populations depending on what our environment can comfortably care for.
  9. Like billionaires, all humans just want a shot, an opportunity to make something great of their lives. We want to leave a great legacy behind, so our children and grandchildren can be proud of us for paving a path to their best future. We want to be loved and valued. We want to be seen and heard. We want our amazing best to be highly visible. We don’t want to be treated as less than, as something to be made fun of, or worse be judged less worthy because of our gender, race, religion, or some other random marker. We want to be appreciated as individuals, who make wonderful contributions to our communities. Billionaires are not the only ones who are trying to make their dreams come true.
  10. If humans refuse to use the brains and hearts given them, to protect this planet and to protect each other, then we must ‘look for other places to live’. Or we will all die here.

If billionaires actually had ‘great brains and minds’ they would know all this is true. They would be encouraging people to understand and comprehend the earth’s capabilities. They would find ways, to explore space, and to also save our planet. They would stop starving people to death, stop wrecking the planet, and stop trying to control other nations. This is plain to see, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

For goodness sake, even I know we should be doing so much more. Here’s a few random links I copied and pasted from the internet offering creative ideas. Answers are out there if only we’d search a little harder and escape the poorly defined predictive analytics of our search engines.

Surely with their ‘great brains and minds’ the super-rich should be able to think up something far better than what all these regular folks are doing!

The world is supposed to be getting better. Humans are supposed to be getting wiser, kinder, and healthier. Is it too much to ask, to live in a world where humans care for their planet and each other? Every horrible thing we do to this planet, we do to ourselves. The endless pursuit of wealth and power will not stop the pain that consumes us.

Things won’t change until we use our caring and intelligence to make wiser, healthier, heartfelt choices to protect our planet and each other.

As long as 7.9 Billion Humans continue to wreck our planet and hurt each other, then those billionaires better get some bigger space ships ready.

Sincerely,

A grandma from the middle of nowhere.

Apollo 9 at the San Diego Air & Space Museum

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3 thoughts on “What Billionaires Should Do

  1. Rose, good post. You remind me of Warren Buffett and Bill (and Melinda) Gates billionaire pledge to give half their fortune to those in need or good causes. They got about thirty or so billionaires to do so. Unfortunately, other billionaires were not so generous. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I know it was long and perhaps wasn’t entirely clear. I share a lot of ‘mixed’ information, which doesn’t make it easy for people to take a specific action or side, or know how to feel. Simply – Humans should do better, and not ‘have to be told’ to be kind and to think carefully.
      Please send Jill our prayers for good news on Monday.

      Like

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