Monday, January 3, 2011

What's enough?

How much money is enough? - MSN Money
...in a study of members of the Forbes 400 "richest" list, the world's wealthiest individuals rated their satisfaction at exactly the same level as did the Inuit people of northern Greenland and the Masai of Kenya, who have no electricity or running water.
Millionaire gives away fortune that made him miserable - Telegraph
The tipping point came while he was on a three-week holiday with his wife to islands of Hawaii.

"It was the biggest shock in my life, when I realised how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five star lifestyle is," he said. "In those three weeks, we spent all the money you could possibly spend. But in all that time, we had the feeling we hadn't met a single real person – that we were all just actors. The staff played the role of being friendly and the guests played the role of being important and nobody was real."

He had similar feelings of guilt while on gliding trips in South America and Africa. "I increasingly got the sensation that there is a connection between our wealth and their poverty," he said.

Suddenly, he realised that "if I don't do it now I won't do it for the rest of my life".
Mr Rabeder decided to raffle his Alpine home, selling 21,999 lottery tickets priced at just £87 each. The Provence house in the village of Cruis is on sale at the local estate agent.

All the money will go into his microcredit charity, which offers small loans to Latin America and builds development aid strategies to self-employed people in El Salvador, Honduras, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile.
There are problems with microcredit, but I have to give Karl Rabeder props for connecting the dots on wealth and poverty.