Jeff Bezos Still Richest Person, But Our Part of Michigan Has Billionaires, Too
The new Forbes 400 list of the richest billionaires is out, and it's generating the usual amount of chatter. The top 10 is about the same as it's always been. The authors of the stories surrounding the topic do mention that the riches keep getting richer. And another thing that jumps out at me is how absolutely status and numbers-driven we are as a society. A finally, it seems to me, it would be good to separate the billionaires into maybe three different categories.
Let's start with what the headline above promised: While Jeff Bezos is still the richest person on the planet, wreaking havoc on businesses large and small while riding his way to the top of the list, this part of Michigan has wealthy people, too and they are names you'd expect. The richest man in Michigan is Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans fame, number 23 on the list. But from Grand Rapids, the Meijer brothers, Hank and Doug are ranked at #46. Then just outside the top 100, at 102 is Matt Ishbia, the former MSU point guard who runs United Wholesale Mortage. BAck to Portage, Ronda Stryker is at #117. And finally, Marian Ilitch of Little Caesars is in at #253. (Tom Gores is listed as a Californian, but owns the Pistons and has ties to Western Michigan University. Jon Stryker on this list is a New Yorker.)
But going through the list and below the cut-off line, you see names like Kim Kardashian West, and here's where I'd like to see the list broken down into maybe three categories. Billionaires who actually built or manufactured something. Billionaires who inherited their fortunes built previous generations, and people who simply made good investments. And in the case of Kardashian, making a fortune for being famous.)
Well, get back to work. Breaks over.