Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rich

It's that time again, where various places take a look at the richest people in the world and then forget all semblance of basic economics concentrating on them.

I'll leave the griping about econ for now (except to point out that comparing "the highest" vs "the lowest" is a rigged game; it's always going to seem absurd when you twist the rules that make it a forgone conclusion; also, it's difficult to compare someone who gets rich in a western democracy vs a brutish and short life in a tinpot dictatorship that has nothing to do with capitalism and everything to do with assholes who get into power). But I always like to peruse the list to see what has changed.

I got all the way to Sheldon Adelson before I saw a name I didn't recognize. Who is this guy, the 8th richest person in the world? I see "Entertainment" as his occupation, so I immediately assume he runs a music company or a movie studio or has his fingers in a bunch of pies. Nope! He runs a casino. (Well, the casino--Sands, that is.) Figures.

There's a lot of European retail magnates I don't recognize, but that's not so unusual. Until I hit Aliko Dangote--wait, what? Nigeria? Have people been sending him money in the mail? You're not supposed to do that! (Refreshingly, it seems like he's a straight-up normal businessman, not a blood diamond exporter or anything like that.) Also, I looked it up and apparently Nigeria is starting to get their shit together. Good for them!

Once we hit the $20 billion mark and below (pocket change, otherwise known as) we get a lot of "Diversified" and "Finance"--people who are behind the scenes and aren't household names. However, I would like to point out how awesome it is that the Mars kids are in there. I won't lie, I get seeing the Waltons in there, but of all the major companies I would expect to see be on the list, the M&Ms people wasn't one of them. Good for them for not blowing their money. (Or maybe they did.)

Anyway, looking at the list, it's a reasonable range of industries. And while it heavily skews Americans, especially the top fifth or so, it's oddly satisfying. And one day I'll be on there, for sure, under the industry "LAZY BLOGGING".


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