Wealth and Money - Think about it!
By Paul Hayden
January 23, 2017
Let’s think about wealth for a bit – in terms of money. Lots of figures here, but bear with me. Imagine all the financial wealth of the world’s top 10 richest people (according to Forbes, 2016) – take every bit of it, and put it into a big pile of money. That would amount to around $505,000,000,000 – that is only $505 Billion. (That is roughly the amount the U.S. goes deeper into debt every day, by the way.) How about all the billionaires in the U.S. – around 540 of them have a total combined wealth of around $2.4 trillion dollars. Heck, for fun, let’s take all the billionaires in the world - there are around 1,800 of them (with an average of around $3.6 billion each, which happens to be close to President Trump’s net worth). Their total combined money-wealth would be roughly $6.5 trillion (give or take a few hundred thousand).
Do you ever think about being rich – how about really, really rich? "I wish I had all their money!" "If I had all that money, just think what I could do!"
Think about it for a while. Just imagine. What could you do with that sort of wealth? What would you do with all that money?
You could spend it all on yourself (like you probably imagine that these wealthy people do). What would you do? Where would you travel or live? What car would you drive, and where would you eat out? Oh, all the choices you would have, the possibilities… What exactly are your motives when you think, "I wish I had all that money!"?
Oh, wait, almost forgot – what about the poor? I don’t want to be like a selfish ‘rich person’ like 'they' are. Oh, yeh…hmmm… What about all the charities? Or all the people who are poorer than me? What of our government expenses – should I donate more even beyond taxes to support the cost of running our country?
Here are some options to consider, while you are dreaming about all this money.
With all the wealth of all the billionaires in the world, you could pay…the U.S. debt, but only 1/3 of it! There would remain about $13 Trillion of debt the U.S. owes. But this could help, and be a step in the right direction.
What if you could distribute $6.5 trillion equally to the poorest (measured with money) half of the world’s population. Isn’t that what so many people think (or seem to think) when they consider the most wealthy people, the “One Percent” or the “Three Percent,” and what 'they' should do with their money?? If $6.5 trillion was distributed equally to each of the poorest half of the world’s population, 3.5 billion people, each one would get $1,857.00 – under $2,000!! And the world’s ‘wealthiest’ people would be reduced to having nothing. What do you think these recipients of all this massive wealth would do with their portion? How many people would or could they employ? To some, the poorest of the poor in the world, many of these poorest 3.5 billion people, this would be life changing, a windfall that would drastically improve their lives forever.
Or, if you could distribute $6.5 trillion equally to each of 330 million persons in the U.S., each one would receive... just under $20,000. That’s Twenty Thousand Dollars, less than many new cars. How far would that go, how many people would that employ, what good would that really do? I venture to guess that most people would either promptly squander it on ‘stuff,’ or they would pay down their debts (much wiser choice).
Don't think for a minute that the wealthy are just sitting there looking at a huge stack of money. To be sure, the 'wealthy' probably do spend (or squander) a lot of their money on themselves - would you really do differently? They have businesses and investments. With all this money, they employ thousands, even tens of thousands, of people. Would you? How would you do it? Do you have the inclination and the ability to do what these wealthy people actually do with their time and resources?
Count your blessings. You don’t really have to think about what to do with all this imaginary money. This is just a little mental (or spiritual) exercise. What do you have to be thankful for? On their death beds, how many of these billionaires do you think would be lying there wondering how much more money they might have made, if only they had spent less time with their families and loved ones?
Work hard, enjoy life, learn to be content, and strive to avoid jealousy and envy.
Be thankful, and share what you have.
(A little side note: If you had all of Donald Trump's money and life, especially at his age, would YOU want to be in his position, to be President of the U.S. to try to help this country however you could? Just a thought...)
http://www.forbes.com/ - many of these statistics came from this website.
http://demonocracy.info/infographics/usa/us_deficit/us_deficit.html - interesting graphics on money and wealth
Paul Hayden is a Christian believer, and an American patriot, necessarily in that order. He is a student of the Bible, and is avidly interested in our role in the context of history, as understood through the heart and eyes of faith. Paul has lived and traveled somewhat widely, and now lives in the heartland of the U.S. (central Illinois), with his wife Donna - they have five grown children. Since December of 2016, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of www.ConservativeTruth.org.
"I was raised by a Christian minister, Kenneth Hayden, until his death when I was 10. Then my mom married a farmer. So I was raised in a very down-to-earth home. My faith has grown through the years, but both in conjunction with the institutional church and through small groups and individuals, including books as well as group settings, where deep, sincere faith is shared that aligns with Biblical truth."