May 30th, 2015 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
On Seven Weekend Sunrise this morning, I argued that far from despising billionaires we should be thanking them for creating the wealth which drives Australia forward.
Billionaires: Master architects of great wealth and lasting legacies, a UBS/PWC report published last week, says we have entered
“a second ‘Gilded Age’, comparable to the first ‘Gilded Age’ at the beginning of the 20th Century. The majority of the world’s billionaires have made their wealth in the past 20 years, when they created more than US$3.3 trillion.”
1. The overwhelming majority are self-made billionaires, rather than inheritors of multi-general wealth. It is evidence of social and economic mobility.
2. Four out of the top ten are migrants. Two more are sons of migrants. This is an open society with “wealth for toil.”
3. Australian billionaires – by and large – do not have tickets on themselves. Which is just as well because, as D H Lawerence said, in Australia “there is a all the difference in the world between feeling better than your fellow man and merely feeling better-off.”
4. They are generous philanthropists who collectively contribute hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the common good, over and above what they pay in taxes.
5. The digital economy means anyone with a computer can start a business. Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar started the software company Atlassian in their early 20s and were billionaires by 34.
6. They create jobs and wealth for the country.
7. We enjoy a better, more comfortable built environment thanks to the entrepreneurship and ingenuity of property and retail developers.
8. Billionaires are innovators and the benefits of innovation are shared.
9. Individual success provides inspiration for all.
10. Our richest billionaire is a woman.