Bob Dylan spiked my interest when reading the Wall Street Journal today. you don't usually see the WSJ talking about Dylan or what he cares about, so this had to be good. Herein is what he said:
From an interview with musician Bob Dylan in AARP magazine online, Jan. 22:
As long as there’s suffering, you can only be so happy. How can a person be happy if he has misfortune? Some wealthy billionaire who can buy 30 cars and maybe buy a sports team, is that guy happy? What then would make him happier? Does it make him happy giving his money away to foreign countries? Is there more contentment in that than in giving it here to the inner cities and creating jobs? The government’s not going to create jobs. It doesn’t have to. People have to create jobs, and these big billionaires are the ones who can do it. We don’t see that happening. We see crime and inner cities exploding with people who have nothing to do, turning to drink and drugs. They could all have work created for them by all these hotshot billionaires. For sure that would create a lot of happiness. Now, I’m not saying they have to—I’m not talking about communism—but what do they do with their money? Do they use it in virtuous ways?
Q: So they should be moving their focus here instead of . . .
A: Well, I think they should, yeah, because there are a lot of things that are wrong in America, and especially in the inner cities, that they could solve. Those are dangerous grounds, and they don’t have to be. There are good people there, but they’ve been oppressed by lack of work. Those people can all be working at something. These multibillionaires can create industries right here in America. But no one can tell them what to do. God’s got to lead them.
Now I think Dylan has a good point, and it didn't take me long to connect the dots and see that he was taking a mild jab at Bill Gates, who is devoting a lot of his money to charitable causes overseas. Gates is also spending a lot of money on Education here in America, and probably a lot of other very worthy causes that I am not researching nor is pertinant. In my opionion, Gates is doing wonderful things, and the hidden bias in Dylan's viewpoint is that somehow the innner city poor people in America are either more important or Gates is misdirected, or a little of both.
I often get this type of argument when people ask me why I don't make my products here in America and hire American's rather than people overseas, as if those overseas are less deserving of a good life. For me, if I could find factories in America that even wanted to do this kind of work anymore, or their workers were willing to work hard enough, or their equiptment was modern enough to do the job, then I would readily utilize them, but sadly that is not the case. I guess, if I was rich enough and had the skill set, I could probably set up my own factory, but I don't and I won't.
Getting back to Gates and Dylan, the real jab should be directed at those rich men who have the money and capabilities to create some businesses that would work in the inner city. Or would help fund start -ups in the inner city. This would be a good thing.
Heading home from a recent trade show in Vegas, I thought of a new business that would work in the inner city, say Detroit. I had again forgotten my charger for my phone. I would have to imagine that I'm not the only one to do this. There must be boxes of these chargers sitting in hotel storage lockers and lost and founds that could be re cylced back into the economy. So here is how it would work. The hotel would ship their charges to the center, they would have a web site offering cheap chargers, and inner city people would be filling out orders, but more importantly, thinking of ways they could sell other things to all of these forgetful people, etc, etc.