Socking It to the Rich

Socking It to the Rich
I think it was Cornelius Vanderbilt who, when confronted by a reporter to share his wealth, pushed a dime at the scribe and said, “There’s your share. Now get out.”

That came to mind reading the AP write-up of the Forbes 2002 billionaire list. There’s a real gem buried in the second paragraph, but I think I’m the first to see it:

The world’s distinct club of billionaires dropped 83 members this year to 497 as recession and fallout from the terrorist attacks reduced their wealth. The group’s combined worth fell to $1.54 trillion from $1.73 trillion last year, according to Forbes magazine’s 16th annual ranking of billionaires released Thursday.

If you took every billionaire from every country in the world, and stripped from them every penny they’re worth — from stock portfolios, to homes, to yachts, to loose change — then you could pay for nine months of the United States federal government. Nine months, that’s it. Or at least that’s what I come up with when I divide 1.54 trillion into 2.1 trillion. Close enough for cocktails.

And you could only do it once, because after that there would be no more billionaires.

Now will someone please whack Bill Clinton over the head with a major metropolitan phone book?

NOTE: I’m still tired and I’m still cranky and my mouth still hurts. I’ll post as I’m able.