Personally I thought it was a ludicrous idea, but once again we have been shown to never doubt the power of a mad scientist with a blank chequebook. -- RecklessPrudence
I'm not crazy, as the song says, I'm just a little unwell. Actually, I'm not mad, either, just... vexed. Like the entire world has this illogic to it that I just can not understand ever and it annoys the living snot out of me. Obviously, if we were not in mixed company, I would be using stronger words. Here, let me give you an example...
The primary reason they give for defunding NASA is this: "Why waste money on space that we could use to fix problems down on the surface?" Well and good... yet when rich people with more money than most nations start working on their own independent space program, they're suddenly bold visionaries with their hearts and minds on Humanity's greater good. The fact that they could also be using their vast fortunes to fix the problems at home seems to sail merrily over the heads of literally everyone.
Except for me. That's why I'm so cross. Pointing this out has done nothing and inventing a few things has helped a little... but in the end, what helped the most was becoming a billionaire myself. Make one cash-generating invention and the world is... well... anything you want, really. It doesn't have to be an oyster, because oysters are gross. They might be necessary for cleaning water, but they're gross to eat. Fight me. Anyway, I had a point to make...
It's not a supreme work of genius to make a fortune. If it was, the world would be run by smarter people. What takes the smarts is how to keep a fortune whilst helping the world. Like, sound investments to make certain I'm set for life, they're okay. Making sound investments to start solving the world's problems... that's another matter.
I bought foreclosed houses, often at way less than they were worth at the peak of the housing bubble. I hired people who had no work but did have skills to fix up whatever needed fixing... and then handed those homes out to the homeless for next to nothing. Anyone who worked for me got not just a living wage, but a thriving wage. Enough to ensure security, even if they couldn't get happiness. I poured my money into the area schools, funding the free lunch programs and buying up-to-date textbooks. I supported judges and law enforcement folks who took sexual abuse cases seriously. Also all kinds of abuse, actually. Physical, mental... all of it. Weeding out the violent sorts from law enforcement was the real bitch. Same with the hospitals.
Of course, policies on prevention of disaster helped a hell of a lot. Violent people are a lot less likely to join an organisation when their job is about caring for people rather than brutally protecting an established norm. Similarly, you can't punish someone for getting into a pickle if your job performance is tied to making certain they stay out of any pickles. It wasn't easy, and there's still the whole puzzle of how to convince those folks to voluntarily enter sensitivity training... but little steps are better than no steps.
They still call me crazy. All I ever did was see a desperate need and cater to it. It's not hard. It's not even difficult. The hard part is getting people to accept that the need is deserving. After all, there will always be the people who prefer a free ride. Humans are lazy and if they want to sit around doing nothing, then that's their problem.
I was the first billionaire to put my money where my mouth was when it concerned an income ceiling. I still give away over half of my earnings to the government... with helpful suggestions on how they should spend it. They hate it when people stand by the morals they declare publicly. That's possibly ninety percent of my motivation, right there.
I still invent things. Things that are wildly profitable. I've had several of the Big Evils attempt to buy me out, but I refuse to put my corporation up for the public. It's not about the shares or the millions I can make. Not for me.
It's about the wrongs I can fix.
I'm not mad... I'm just frustrated. The good news is that I'm getting less so by the day.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / kanzefar]
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