I generally get nauseated when I stumble across that MTV show “My Super Sweet 16.” Every episode features a spoiled, delusional child, who is poorly parented by two adults desperate to buy their children’s love with a new Mercedes and an extravagant $200,000 birthday party the size of an Oscar bash.
Reuters reported today that a real estate guy named Tim Blixseth is planning to build and sell the world’s most expensive home – a $155 million, 10 bedroom, 53,000-square-foot house in Montana.
$155 million? Stop and think about how much money that is for a moment.
I live in Mississippi, and for $1 million, you can purchase a mansion. I probably shouldn’t even blog about this, because if Mr. Blixseth or a mega-rich person discovers this fact and decides to purchase 155 mansions here rather than the one exorbitantly priced house in Montana, I’m sure that would have a devastating effect on the local real estate market.
But $155 million? How do you sleep at night knowing you are wasting that much money. Sure, it’s nice to own beautiful things, but you don’t have to spend $155 million to have a grand home.
Paris Hilton is, of course, another example. She probably drops a million or more a year on Tinkerbell. Just think about the impact $1 million could have on a third world country. I’m sure Tinkerbell doesn’t give chicken nugget whether or not the bag Paris wags him around in has a designer label. He’d be just as unhappy in one from Target.
Global Issues reports that half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less than $2 a day. (Think about that next time you buy your lunch.) And the world’s poorest 48 nations (i.e. a quarter of the world’s countries) have less money combined than the world’s three richest people. Forbes says that’s Bill Gates, with a net worth of $50 billion; Warren Buffett, $42 billion; and Carlos Slim Helu, $30 billion.
The Web site also reports that51 percent of the world’s 100 hundred wealthiest bodies are corporations, and a few hundred millionaires now own as much wealth as the world’s poorest 2.5 billion people. In 2004, about .13 percent of the world’s population controlled 25 percent of the world’s assets.
Global Issues also reports that the combined wealth of the world’s 200 richest people hit $1 trillion in 1999. That’s much more than the combined incomes ($146 billion) of the 582 million people living in the 43 least developed countries.
It’s all very disturbing. And as the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, I hope there will soon be an awakening in this country and a rebellion against the disgusting popularity of living large and lavish.