Friday, March 7, 2008


Warren Buffet, the world’s top billionaire, net worth of $62 billion. That’s like probably enough to feed 620 generations of people (well, people like me anyway). I always wonder what it is like to lead a life as a billionaire (or millionaire for that matter). The way I agonise over buying a $50 dress is probably equivalent to them paying $5 million for a car or something.

Yet everyday, I still see the blind lady sitting outside the train station punching her keyboard and singing to earn that couple of dollars. In the underground, musicians, jugglers, artists, they still struggle to sell their art for a pittance. I suppose, just $100 bucks would go a long way for them. Imagine how many $100 bucks can be generated from $62 billion?

It’s hard not to get jealous. It’s difficult not to be envious. Of the immense wealth these people have. Of course, most of them slogged hard their entire lives to build such a fortune, and I have great respect for these self-made billionaires. I am just overwhelmed by the figures. 1,125 of the world’s richest command up to $4.4 trillion amongst themselves. I don’t even know what a trillion is, and I suspect my calculator will not be able to fit all the numbers on its small screen.

I’m not complaining. I am quite contented earning my $6 per hour. But sometimes, just sometimes, I dream of a utopian world where everyone has equal rights AND equal wealth. Money has this tendency to be divisive, to group people into different clusters, to acknowledge that one is superior to the other just because they have more money.

There's this very poignant Chinese phrase to describe playing the lottery (or any form of betting), which roughly translates into "purchase of a hope".

Please Mr. God, I'm here to buy some hope.

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