A recent Associated Press article titled “Stark inequality: Oxfam says 8 men as rich as half the world,” laments that a few extraordinary men own as much wealth as 3.6 billion people!
According to the article, “…Microsoft founder Gates is the richest individual with a net worth of $75 billion. The others, in order of ranking, are Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of fashion house Inditex, financier Warren Buffett, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.”
Rather than thank these men for incalculable benefits they’ve bestowed on the human race, the article predicts “…public anger against this kind of inequality will continue to grow and lead to more seismic political changes…” Let’s consider why this would be a gross injustice.
As I write, finance.yahoo.com reports that Jeff Bezos owns over 80 million shares of Amazon. At just under $750/share, this computes to 60 billion dollars. If one Googles “what is Jeff Bezos’ net worth,” a figure near $65 billion USDwill be returned.
The point of this simple research is that over 92% of Mr. Bezos’ wealth is deployed in the service of others! Before anyone says, “Yes! But he can sell his stock and use that money for HIMSELF!” remember this…someone else has to buy the stock, placing THEIR money in the service of others.
And while most of the funds used in the buying and selling of Amazon stock doesn’t flow through Amazon, these stock sales directly determine the price of Amazon stock, which represents its real market value to society. One should ask, “what would happen to Amazon and its stock price if, for some reason, its 475 million shares outstanding were suddenly placed on sale?” The answer is, “Amazon would soon be no more!” This point is made to support the notion that the vast majority of Mr. Bezos’ wealth (92%), or someone he sells his stock to, must remain in Amazon stock if Amazon is to survive. Therefore, this wealth is indeed serving humanity at large, much more so than Jeff Bezos, because it directly determines the very existence of the amazing enterprise we call Amazon. Similar exercises can be performed for others on the eight person list as well as many in the wealthy “1%” category.
Rather than predicting, and inciting, public anger against these outstanding benefactors, outlets like the Associated Press should be expressing a tremendous debt of gratitude to these extraordinary individuals. Income inequality is GOOD! It benefits us all. It is a unjust to report otherwise.
Michael Malgeri is the creator of the “Johnny Profit” series of children’s books, which teaches young people about Capitalism. He authored H.R.422, a Congressional Resolution that creates awareness of the superiority of Capitalism as an economic model. He’s also involved in projects that spread Capitalist ideas to the young people of Africa. Please visit his website at www.Kids4biz.com