Bye Bye, Bezos

All billionaires are inherently unethical.  While many of us may aspire to be so rich we can own multiple homes and pay off any college loan, nobody needs to be so rich that they have a huge ethical dilemma on their hands.

I first encountered this commonplace a few years ago, lightly introduced to me in the form of a post on some social media on how to conceptualize a million versus a billion. It went something like this:  “Look at it in seconds: A million seconds is equivalent to about 11 days. A billion seconds is equivalent to about 32 years.”  Suddenly, millionaires and billionaires don’t seem so similar. From there, I did more research into billionaires. They don’t have just one billion, either; the richest have over one hundred billion each. The ethical dilemma follows closely behind – as I became aware of this issue, I paid attention when it was discussed in the news. It was a concern of Democrat leaders I followed. I continued to see posts about the ethics of money. While I used to think being a billionaire was just being super rich, I began to understand there were other implications of having that much money. Having that much money means the ultra-rich could put half of their money towards causes like preventing climate change and housing the homeless, and they would still be billionaires. To have that much money is to have too much money. I think about this concept whenever a billionaire is mentioned in the news, whenever there is a discussion of how much money a good cause needs, whenever I think/learn about how corrupt our capitalist system is (which is often).

This idea helps shape my worldview and my identity because it reminds me to think critically about the system I live in, to stand by the beliefs and values I hold, appreciate what I have, and to think of how I can help others. I am not a billionaire, but I am comfortable. My mother has been retired the majority of my life because of her MS and my father has been in and out of jobs for the last several years, but my family is well off and happy. The commonplace idea that billionaires are unethical reminds me that money isn’t everything, and that you should do what you can to help others with the resources you have.

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