Exxon made record profits this year, profits in the billions of dollars. Yet they are still in court trying to stop paying that 2 billion fine they owe the state of Alaska for the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. They made 6 billion in pure profits this year, but refuse to pay off the court decision. Meanwhile they won’t create new oil refineries and that is one big factor in the high price of gasoline. Every summer and winter the price of gas jumps because the oil companies change their blend and don’t have an extra capacity to make more heating oil or more gasoline. Instead they charge more. Still those executives won’t even invest in their own company to build new refineries. Refineries that they complained were damaged and closed after Hurricane Katrina and that was 3 years ago.
Yes, I wonder about the high prices many people are getting and what they could do with their money. Bill Gates is the world’s richest man, he had the most expensive house in the US custom built for his family. It is so expensive because he uses huge LCD screens to display art and he pays a royalty fee to display that famous art in his home. He then creates a charity that helps Africa. However, Microsoft, his company still charges too much for its operating system making sure that the poor are denied computer skills. They create Vista, a piece of garbage as bad as Windows Millennium designed to purposely make your old hardware obsolete so you would have to buy new equipment. Then he tried to kill the $100 computer for the 3rd world because it doesn’t use Windows software. If he really wanted to give to charity then he would make his software more affordable so that everyone can learn and use it, or at least provide a program so that poor Americans can. He would have his company not release an operating system before it is checked out and he would stop his unethical business practices. In order to learn the code so that they can make third party software that would work with it the European Economic Union had to sue Microsoft to get them to release their code of Windows; twice.
Andrew Carnegie was a famous and ruthless monopolist, who created a super literary charity that is still building libraries to this day. After his death his desk was cleaned out and someone found a note he wrote to himself; “Make the money you can, then give it all away.” The problem is how many people did he take down along the way, and when he gave the money away it was after he retired and didn’t need it any more.
Greed seems to know no end and most people who are that lucky are fools with their money. The Sheik of the United Arab Emirates is not one of those. He knows the supply of oil in his country is limited and the demand will drop someday, so he has turned his country into a tourist Mecca. He has created artificial islands and sells high class homes on it, he has huge high class hotels there and he has created an indoor sky resort; all of that will insure that his people will have a revenue generating business well into the next century. Meanwhile Donald Trump is spending his money on being known as a rich guy with a TV show.
Do people who earn high salaries deserve them; that depends on what they do with that money. Madonna wants to save a couple of children by adopting them, while Oprah builds a school for children who wouldn't have one and Bono spends his wealth and fame to push environmental causes. Those people realize that with great power comes great responsibility (all Spiderman fans will know where that quote came from).