Saturday, 8 June 2013

In God we trust - all others pay cash


Bill Gates is in London right now, discussing ways of giving away $67 billion with (but hopefully not to) our beloved Prime Minister.

From being the geek's geek and nerd's nerd, Mr Gates now comes over as one of the sanest men on the planet - against all odds. Most of the super-rich spend most of their time planning dynasties which will outlive them and their children's children, knowing that  - nomatter how long they live - they will never have enough time to spend even the interest on their vast fortunes, but Bill and his wife have made a decision help the children of the world, even if it is at the expense of their own.

The annual Bilderberg conference has just taken place in Watford, North London, and I don't know if Bill Gates attended it, but I really hope he did. The (allegedly, though they do have an open website) secretive and shadowy get-together of the world's most powerful people is bound to spark-off countless conspiracy theories about covert world-domination, but if I knew that the Gates' were going to be there, then I know that the agenda would be steered toward efforts to do good in the world, rather than formulating the best way of influencing politics for personal gain and the preservation of power that being so rich affords an elite few. Just one question: why Watford? Oh well, that's another thing I will probably never know.

I have spent a lot of time working for extremely wealthy people, but none have been so wealthy that they have the potential ability to alter world politics - whether they choose to or not - in the way the head of the Microsoft Corporation has. When you become that influential, your life and the lives of your entire family are at constant risk, and not only from criminal organisations, but from certain departments of international government organisations as well.

There must be a degree of self-preservation mixed in with the altruism in giving away most of a vast personal fortune - it's just not safe to be too rich. Bill Gates said in an interview today that he does not believe in down-time, though he does sleep, play tennis and read a lot of books. The irony is that he cannot afford to relax too much - yet.


13 comments:

  1. I've always thought it would be nice to be 'rich', but only up to a certain level. After that it just becomes a burden.

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    1. Let me help to share your burden, Cro.

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  2. I agree with Cro here Tom. It is nice to have enough for one's needs but too much would be such a burden.

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    1. I have broad shoulders. Let me help you with yours too, Weave.

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  3. In Hampton Court I thought about how rich (most) of the average people are today: we can buy grapes as much as we like, or pineapple in winter; we have warm water, central heating, enough to eat and drink, are nicely dressed, can travel to Bremerhaven on a whim - and normally in normal life we are treated fair. We don't have to produce heirs (or get beheaded if we can't) - so: I think we are quite happy.
    And I wish this happiness to the Gates too: wonderful to share, when so many think that much is not enough.

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    1. It wasn't my bloody whim to go to bloody Bremerhaven again. This is the next best thing to business, except we don't make any money. In the old days, we would go by boat and it would take two days, but now there are no boats between the UK and Germany - AT ALL.

      I used to go to Germany by boat all the time, and sail up the Elber to Hamburg, all the while being serenaded by Polish musicians. Those days are gone, despite the higher standard of living. Soon the higher standard of living will be gone too.

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    2. Maybe we should go on a joint venture, Tom: sounds like a good idea to re-animate boot trips between Germany and England - with music and dinners in Gatsby-Style. Our ideal could be Aristoteles Onassis, he was definitely rich even by your standards (though I agree with your definition of rich). But then: would you like to look like Ari??

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  4. I can only smile at a news account I read of the blacked out limo's arriving at the Grove Hotel, accompanied by a photo of security folks wanding a line of folks arriving, presumably to protest.
    A shame the fellows in the limos are not free to come in, too, maybe have their wives drop them at the front door. That first group surely took a stroll at night, stretch their legs, smoke a cigar.
    Such a waste of a perfectly good weekend, jockeying for the best position to shout a slogan or get a protest poster on a TV camera.
    I can appreciate what they shout at foot ball games: go big or go home. In this case, change the world yourself or go home and take care of your corner.

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    1. That first group: the 1953 movers and shakers.

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    2. Yes, this is the 61st meeting. They invited me to come and represent the talented but impoverished section of society born since the inception, but I declined - mainly because all they could offer was a packet of crisps and a lemonade in the car-park - in my own car.

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  5. There are a few amongst my acquaintances who I know to be 'rich' and they go to extraordinary lengths to protect what they have. So yes I too agree with Cro

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    1. Tell them I will help with their unbearable burden too, Heron. 10% commission for you - guaranteed.

      (By 'rich' I am assuming that they notch up at least 10 digits, otherwise - in the words of T. Bunker Hunt - they ain't rich).

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  6. Did anyone say free money? I'm a worthy cause, by the way.

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