The Ironic Advice of a Billionaire

“How many yachts can you water-ski behind? How much is enough, huh?”

Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), Wall Street (1987)

Stack_of_moneyThe Powerball lottery prize is up over $1,400,000,000 this week. If you win and take the lump sum, which in my opinion you should, you would have about $651 million left after tax. Needless to say lots of people have an opinion on that, including billionaire, Mark Cuban. One piece of advice he gives is that you should help some of your friends and relatives but, “remember this, no one needs one million dollars for anything. No one needs 100k for anything. Anyone who asks is not your friend.”

The irony is a billionaire saying no one needs a million dollars for anything, yet there it is. Many rich people say that the masses of poor don’t need more than they have, yet when asked to contribute to society those same rich people squawk about losing some of their money. Think about the CEO who earns over $10 million a year, imagine a 90% tax, that would leave over $1 million in annual salary. An amount that Mark Cuban says no one needs for anything.

If you are wondering who earns more than $10 million a year, that would be all of the top 350 U.S. Firm CEOs in 2014 (average $16.3M). I for one would be quite happy with a $1 million gross salary, never mind a net salary of $1M.

These same rich people want to take advantage of the US infrastructure, the education, the legal system, etc. But they refuse to pay a share of the up keep, via taxes, that is commensurate with the benefit that they reap from the system. This unbridled greed and selfishness has led our society to the brink.

More people need to take Mr. Cuban’s advice and agree that, “no one needs one million dollars for anything”, and start thinking about giving some of that profit back to society.

P.S. If I win the lottery count on at lest 50% of my share going into charitable trusts for the arts and sciences (immediately, no waiting till I die). I personally would put at least $500 million of that $650M towards charity.

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