We all know how Jeff Bezos recently shot a rocket to the sky for like 10 seconds. Guess how much that cost? 5.5 BILLION DOLLARS. It wasn’t just him that went to space either, it was also Oliver Daemen, who paid an additional 28 million dollars to accompany him into space. According to issd.org, it would cost 1 billion dollars per year from now to 2030 to keep Africa fed, while Jeff Bezos is out here farting out 5.5 billion dollars for 4 minutes in space. A day after, he added $13 billion to his wealth thanks to the increase in Amazon’s stock price. I understand that billionaires would want to use their money to enjoy life-like anyone would if they had the chance, but their spending is ridiculous and could solve world issues. Billionaires are just “whittl[ing] back the branches” of the Earth. Like in the Scavenger’s short film we watched in class, they don’t think about the repercussions of some of their actions. Larry Ellison spent a whopping $300 million on a private island. Cool..but who needs an entire island to themselves?
Let’s look at some costs to solve big problems that the world is facing today:
- 6 billion dollars to keep 41 million people from starving this year
- 10 billion to fully fund the UN’s refugee program
- 35 billion a year to have every child go to school globally
- 150 billion to deliver safe water and sanitation to the entire planet
It’s a lot of money, of course, but it wouldn’t take too much out of the billionaires to combine together a fraction of their money.
Some may argue that it’s their money and they can do whatever they want with it. This is a valid point, however, I think it’s okay to take it down a notch on the expensive yachts, jets, private islands, and the shooting of rockets into space for some giggles. Do you really want to show the world that you can buy these things? Take that energy and move it towards something that can help the world.
Another argument is that billionaires are already donating a lot of their money. Again, valid, however, I feel like a lot of their efforts in philanthropy are half-baked. I have never heard in the news of some big world issue that they have solved. They just donate a few million to some non-profits here and there so people don’t get mad at them. I want to see them take something small and seemingly uninteresting, like the podcast “The Mojave Phone Booth” and actually change lives in their own way. I want to see a genuine and huge world problem they can solve so I can go to bed peacefully.