100 kids with 100 toys in a big room. Shrieks of joy. Kids running everywhere. Playing, laughing, squeals of delight. Everyone has a toy, everyone is having fun.
Billionaire Buddha is Rivera Sun‘s third novel. In it David Grant, a self-made billionaire, goes from the pinnacle of a most unfulfilling and emotionally deprived material success to homelessness, destitution and the spiritual contentment of knowing himself (which is the embodiment of Buddhahood). Sun describes the changes Grant goes through in a clear writing style which holds the reader and compels them to turn the pages to see what happens next in this book which should be read by all Americans with their general love of money.
Like Bill Gates, George Soros, Warren Buffett and H. Ross Perot, but not as lofty, I was once called a “self-made man”. I was an entrepreneur who had co-founded over forty businesses in my career and had accumulated wealth that put me well within the top 0.01 of 1%. If people had something good to say about me, they would say I was a “marketing genius” and that I had the “Midas touch”; everything I touched turned to gold.
One day, my business partner leaned over to me and said, “Remember, we are so rich because they are so poor.” That is how he patiently explained to his younger partner why our workers should not get a raise above minimum wage. He could just as well have said, “They are so poor because we are so rich.” We were farming thousands of acres, had whole communities that worked for us and were making money faster than we could have ever dreamed. The plight of the workers just didn’t matter. What was important to my partner was that we lived in houses with marble floors while our farmworkers lived on dirt.
The 20 richest Americans will sit down to breakfast this morning to lovely dishes carefully prepared by their chefs and served them in the most elegant of dining rooms that can be imagined. How will they greet the news that they now have more wealth than half of America combined? Twenty people, all white and mostly male, nine of them from just three families, are now richer than the poorest 152,000,000 Americans combined.