The Bigger They Come, The Harder They Fall to a Soft Landing

Inequity Tech

Mazatlán         Mi companera follows Twitter largely for the laughs, although she sometimes finds pearls among the swine, as the saying went.  Today, she read me one from a wag that said, “Why did Elon Must buy Southwest Airlines without anybody knowing it?”  Not only is that funny, even if it’s a form of gallows humor, since thousands are still stranded in US airports, but it’s another benchmark on the way Musk’s super-entrepreneurial reputation has gone down like a rock, which is its own source of satisfaction.

Musk’s reputation is not the only thing to take a beating.  He and the rest of the largely insufferable tech billionaire have seen their billions take a beating as the Wall Streeters suddenly decided with a recession in the clouds that it’s actually important for tech to make money, and even worse for these boys, that if they can’t get the obscene profits from these titans of late-stage capitalism, then they’ll take their money elsewhere.  The Washington Post tallied up the losses, and many of them were bracing and the bleed out was over $433 billion.

  • Elon Musk      down $132 billion                   current net worth $139 billion
  • Jeff Bezos       down $84.1 billion                  current net worth $108 billion
  • Mark Zuckerberg   down $80.7 billion           current net worth $44.8 billion
  • Larry Page        down $44.6 billion                current net worth $83.8 billion
  • Sergey Brin       down $43.4 billion                current net worth  $80.2 billion
  • Bill Gates          down $28.7 billion                current net worth $109 billion
  • Steve Ballmer   down $20.2 billion                current net worth  $85.5 billion

Don’t get me wrong, we don’t need to do a GoFundMe for this crew.  They’ve still got more than plenty, and they aren’t like the rest of us, their boats could still come back to shore on another high tide.  The OG tech-billionaires like Gates and Ballmer, who is now just known as the basketball guy, weathered the stock price depression better because they had probably done more to diversify than the some of the young ‘uns.  And, hey, it’s only money, what’s a billion here or a billion there.

I’m not trying to put a hex on them or anything like that, not that they would care or that it would work, but I am hoping, as they all come just a little closer to the hard ground where the rest of us in the real world live, that we can hear a good deal less about their proscriptions for how the rest of us should live and work.  We do need to all get over the fact that the random walk to super wealth in any way qualifies any of these boys as experts on anything other than their own enterprises, as Elon Musk and his Twitter escapades remind us daily of how pride and too much money come before a fall.  If we can hear less from and about these guys, just maybe that will open the door to more voices from people who like people, care about equity, and are trying to make the world a better place, and not just fatten their bank accounts.