So this really rich guy from Windsor puts down a million and a half on some sort of fancy sports car, and the Detroit dealership allegedly runs away with his money and doesn’t turn over the car. This makes the front page of the local rag and the reaction from the hoi-polloi is to criticize the newspaper for making it the lead story, and the rich guy for being so…rich, I guess.
Here’s my reaction. First, let that be a lesson to those among us who would put down a 100% deposit. I say hold back a couple of hundred thousand to make sure you get what you ordered – the colour you wanted, the CD player, that sort of thing.
Secondly, let’s call the criticism what it is: envy. Who are any of us to tell this self-made billionaire how he can legally spend his money. Would we really have the employees of the auto company go jobless while he gives the cash to charities instead? What if our town made high-end sports cars instead of minivans, how would the tune change?
And third, it is front page news. How many people do you know who can spend that kind of cash on a car? Many of us have met this man around town and didn’t even know he was a billionaire. His company, Atlas Tool employs several hundreds of people. He is an entrepreneur who has opened several successful businesses in the area, a philanthropist, he has endured great personal tragedy that would sideline a lesser man and kept his family and businesses together, and by all accounts is a great guy.
And his reaction to all of envious reaction to his misfortune? He hasn’t said a word, but hopefully, Atlas shrugged.