Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"You're just as guilty as them"

Who is anthony green talking to? In the original song, I am not sure, but he could be talking about The Giving Pledge.

40 billionaires giving at least half of their fortunes, that's a lot of money. hip, hip, hooray! I guess I should be appreciative of this pledge deal and the philanthropic efforts of Bill Buffet. I mean Warren Gates. Wait, uhh...nevermind.

I am just hesitant to get excited about it because I am not sure how all those billions will be put to use. Throwing money at a problem behind your 800-thread-count-egyptian-cotton-blindfold is, in addition to being an inefficient use of said cash, a good way to breed corruption and turn good things sour. The funneling of western aid money into Africa over the past 50 years, as explored by Dambisa Moyo, is a prime example of the destructive corrosive power of too much free money.

Hopefully the giving pledge is more than just a publicity stunt. I don't know, can we really even pretend to know or trust or understand these people? We will see eventually whether the intentions of Warren n' Bill are as good as they seem from the press releases and photo shoots. My reality is just so far removed from theirs that it makes me very skeptical. For an example of the relative proximity of Me versus Bill Buffet: Every cent of the ten dollars I spent on a delicious and much needed breakfast, for two, was begrudingly relinquished!

Ok not quite. So I paid a visit to Mike and Patty's (still up there on Yelp!) today on a whim, and I spent ten whole dollars cash. I had not been since last fall, almost a year ago, when I visited in September with a broken collarbone. In the end it was very much worth it. Good to see the old faces of Mike and Heather, still sweating and smiling and making amazing food in that tiny bacon-perfumed box, plus two new employees (mine and Patty's replacements you could say). Patty is taking a more backseat administrative role in the operation and thus works less in-store. One of the new girls (not very new, both have long outlasted me) only charged me for one 5 dollar sandich. My bill should have been 10.50; 5 plus 3.50 for the other, plus 2 for coffee. But I stuffed the whole 5 into the corn meal tip box without a second thought.

My north south classic was a hot creamy crunchy salty chewy mess of joy. Toasted english muffin with over medium egg, cheddar cheese, peameal bacon (cured, unsmoked, pork loin rolled in cornmeal, the "real" Canadian bacon), bacon, and garlic sauteed greens (collards n' spinach), mmm I want another. And the coffee is as good as it ever was, meaning it's still better than the coffee at Licks-I'm sorry guys, but check out M & P's.

This breakfast, mind you, was the perfect start to an otherwise beautiful day only slightly tainted by the effects of last night's Peabody party on my body. Just need to rehydrate, ok...And I was able to deliver an egg, cheese, n' tomato muffin, plus coffee, to Jill as she started her shift at Emack n' Bolio's on Newbury Street. I think it will help her get through the day. Me, I have the day off. Tomorrow too! I am thinking about poking around JP tomorrow, including stops at JP licks and BNB. Anyone have other recommendations?

Back to the billion-heirs for one moment. The most interesting part of the article I referred to above, for me, was this bit near the end:

"If the individuals on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans pledged half their net worth to charity, that would amount to $600 billion, according to Fortune magazine.
The United States has roughly 400 billionaires, about 40 percent of the world's total, according to Forbes."

Maybe we should call it the Billionaire List, because thats what it sounds exactly like. 400 people in this country hold sway over at least one billion dollars, and their total worth is approximately 1.2 trillion dollars, probably give or take a few billion. By comparison, the total GDP of the US in 2009 was 14.26 trillion according to the CIA World Factbook. That's a lot of money for 800 hands.

How about the fact that 40 percent of the world's billionaires are from the US of A? Does that strike you in any way? It makes sense, for we are clearly the best at amassing great amounts of wealth into as few hands as possible. And if we consume about 25 percent of the world's resources, we better have a long Forb-illion-heir list to show for it! These people have so much filthy stinking money they don't know what to do with it, and now they are trying to make up for the devious destructive means with which they amassed said wealth by giving it all away.

Well let me tell you this guys, the damage is done. In the end, you're just as guilty as them.

1 comment:

  1. i like that you did the math on 400 people having 800 hands. this is a nice one, jd, keep up the good blog work

    are you as guilty as them, or is it just us?