we have a tradition in our family that jen started a few years back of giving books as easter gifts. mine this year was billionaires by darryl cunningham. it is a graphic book i.e. the stories are told in pictures like a graphic novel but it's not a novel. he tells the stories of three super rich - rupert murdoch, the koch brothers and jeff bezos. it is brilliant! it is a surprise in that you wouldn't expect a graphic book to be able to get under the lid of the issues in the way he does.
i find the whole financial systems confusing and when i have read books on economics i don't usually make it to the end especially if they are as fat as piketty's capital which i bought and never read. but super crash his previous graphic book was the most undestandable book i have read on the finance systems.
my own naive few is that the society we have allowed to exist where an individual can accumulate the level of wealth these guys do is absurd. it would be simple to deal with through taxation and creating limits and the money could be invested in society in different ways. but the obssession with not interfering and the ideology of the free market seems to stop that sort of intervention. it find it disgusting. it will be interesting to see if the current situation changes our societal view.
murdoch i knew about and the book confirmed what i thought. the koch brothers are unbelievable - i ended that section wondering how they are not in prison for the abuse of the environment. but the really disturbing thing in both of their stories is the collusion with government and media and what is essentially manipulation of power through their wealth that buys political influence. the level of cosying up should be illegal. and make no mistake these guys are hugely powerful. jeff bezos story is interesting - i genuinely like his drive and innovation but in the end his drive doesn't play out so well for workers and the stories of tax avoidance are well reported and the jury is out on what he will do with his wealth. but that is the point - why should we as a society wait for these individuals to be good philanthropists? they should never be in that position.