When criticizing billionaires recently, some bootlickers accused me of being jealous. Jealous of what? That gave me pause, because I think a lot of people fundamentally do not understand what a billionaire is, or even comprehend the sheer wealth that entails. It is unfathomable.
It's good to remind ourselves that a billion is a thousand million. It's so much that really, we lose all sense of scale when it's used in terms of the accumulated wealth of individuals. It seems abstract. Or just innocuously describing someone richer than a millionaire.
It's why right-wingers think it's such a gotcha when they say "You criticize the Kochs, yet Bernie is a millionaire? How interesting! I am very smart."
They think we're simply criticizing someone having wealth at all, rather than... *gestures broadly*
Would I like to be wealthy? Heck yeah I would!
It'd be nice not to have an unexpected bill throw me off and put me under pressure for an entire month, it'd be nice if I could have a holiday again, it'd be nice if I could afford to buy a big house. That'd all be awesome.
But that's a whole lot different from folks like the Wilkes brothers destroying the planet with fracking to line their own pockets, Murdoch's press empire making bank from stoking hatred and animosity the world over, or Bezos making workers piss in bottles. There's human cost.
Most people's idea of being a "billionaire" doesn't take into account that the wealth has to have come from somewhere, at the expense of a great many people, and we can't divorce the idea of being a billionaire from the means to extract that sheer unfathomable amount of wealth.
Am I jealous of *THAT*?
Billionaires are people who could end poverty on a whim and still be set for life, but choose not to. It's having the means to effect change and doing nothing while the world burns. It is immoral and obscene, and hoarding that much wealth shouldn't be a thing.
Oh, by the way...
If all the ill-gotten gains of billionaires was redistributed, the average person would have a lot more wealth.
Also, what would I do with billions? There's only so many pairs of tabi boots I can buy.
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