For a long while, Microsoft founder Bill Gates had been the world’s richest man (not counting corrupt dictators like the deceased Muammar Gaddafi, who may have stolen and stashed $200B.) Now, Gates has been surpassed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
All three men created technology giants that are mainstays of American life. Their stories and achievements are remarkable.
But according to far-left site Slate, the real takeaway here isn’t the hard work and ingenuity that created millions of jobs and quality-of-life improvements for all mankind. It’s that these three men who also have given billions more to charitable causes than, you know, Slate itself aren’t giving away enough money:
If you’re keeping up with the latest developments in the world’s-richest-man competition, you’ll know that Jeff Bezos is now richer than Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg is now richer than Warren Buffett. From these facts, and Bloomberg’s “Mark Zuckerberg Tops Warren Buffett” headline, you might start drawing conclusions about the new economy. Don’t. Because there’s an even more important competition out there, which is the competition to give away the most money in service of making the world a better place. And you can only win the latter by losing the former.
Look, Buffett and Gates give money to charity, which is certainly noble. However, to claim that the “competition to give away the most money in service of making the world a better place” is somehow more important hinges on the idea that they somehow owe the world more than they’ve already given it.
Jeff Bezos created an internet retail giant that makes it possible for not just individuals anywhere to find and purchase anything they please, but also for new companies to form and get their products in front of the whole world, thus creating wealth and savings for millions of individuals. Facebook, while providing the treasured service of keeping friends and family connected, has created an advertising and sales economy as well.
That does more to make the world a better place than charity could. Far more.
Both of these men have already given plenty to the world. They don’t owe it to anyone to give away anything.
And no one has a claim on the wealth these men earned. You don’t get to decide what they do with it, just like no one — well, now that Obamacare’s individual mandate is gone — gets to decide what you do with your own earnings.
Slate and the rest of the Left need to understand one important thing: A person’s stuff is a person’s stuff. And it just so happens that holding property rights sacred is what created the last couple centuries of quality-of-life miracles in the first place.