Ter documentatie. Stof tot discussie?
Quick run-down on those “8 richest people” that Oxfam’s condemning in this year’s fund-raising drive. The common thread is they made stuff cheaper and better, effectively donating trillions to random strangers.
1. Made computer operating systems cheap and accessible to non-experts (Microsoft)
2. Made databases cheap and accessible to companies (Oracle)
3. Made consumer products cheap and accessible in dozens of countries (Amazon)
4. Made fashion cheap enough for the masses, spawning the “fast fashion” category (Zara)
5. Made financial data widely available to investors (Bloomberg)
6. Made it easy to meet and interact with new friends, including for political minorities to organize (Facebook)
7. Routed hundreds of billions from failing companies to companies that better serve customers (Buffett)
8. Made a range of Mexican industries cheaper and with better service, including telecoms, consumer finance, consumer investing (Slim Helu)
Their total net worth is just under $500 billion. While the total value they created for humanity is, I’d guess, easily ten times that. You’d think an anti-poverty outfit like Oxfam would build statues for guys who donate trillions to random strangers, not crucify them to raise petty cash.
Incidentally, you could argue these guys didn’t do all these things — intuitive computer interfaces would have existed without Microsoft, for example — but in that case the thanks goes to the tournament they won. That is, their wealth is the prize money that drives innovation. In which case we’d be grateful, not necessarily to these men, but to free market capitalism. – Peter St. Onge