I was interested in reading an article in this weekends Australia Financial Review which was titled ‘What worries the rich?’ – Firstly, who cares? Not me. Not because they are rich, just that it is an irrelevant question. We all have worries, and the worries of a particular demographic are no more important than any other demographic. However, in reading one particular persons comments I was astounded at the irony.
The rich person in question was Bruce Mathieson, who has a net wealth of over $1 billion. He said:
“I’d hate to think that I had a lot of money but my family and everyone around me were unhappy. That would be an absolute disaster.”
For anyone who doesn’t know, Bruce made the majority of his wealth via Poker Machines. Here is a guy who “sells hope, and provides misery” – claiming he’d hate to make anyone unhappy. Is he serious?
Poker machines provide nothing good to society. The only thing that poker machines are good at, is redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich. And governments falsely believe the tax revenue outweighs the cost of the social ills they create.
You might think this is slightly off topic for startup blog. But for me it sent me a clear message about what business is all about. Creating value for all those who participate in the value chain – not one sided value. If the cost of being wealthy, was creating heart ache for people, I’d rather be poor. In addition, I like to think we are entering an age where wealth creation is more often a result of creating value for society, not by tricking people.