Friday, August 15, 2008

Proof that the rich keep getting richer

A house in the south of France has sold for €500 million (just under US$735 million) to an unnamed Russian tycoon. That figure is slightly more than the 2007 GDP for the country of Djibouti. Does this seem a little ridiculous to anyone but me? If someone can spend that type of money on a house (probably not even his primary residence, like that matters), there's too much money in too few hands. The money, obviously, has to come from somewhere, and it comes from the poor and middle-class, who just get more poor. It really is obscene for someone to pay so much for a house, but what's more obscene is the fact that someone could pay so much for a house. It's amazing to think what else could have been done with that kind of money that would help a large number of people, but the money doesn't ever seem to trickle back down once it flows up.

I've noticed a lot of Russians lately spending money in an almost obscene ostentatious manner. In addition to houses like the one in the south of France, they have a particular passion for extremely large yachts, such as this, this, and this. Each of those is worth at least US$100 million the third one being worth probably three times that. While it's not just the Russians who have the money, they seem to be the ones showing it off lately. Their not-so-subtle displays of wealth only point out how much the upper .o1% of the population has compared the lower 75%. It just seems like a really bad idea to me to have so much wealth concentrated into such a small percentage of the world's population.

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