Allow me to preface this column by asking a couple of questions: How much do you hate rich people? How many of you think the rich hold poor people down? How many of you feel disadvantaged and put out because of someone that is rich? How many feel that they simply don’t pay their “fair share?”
Allow me to introduce you to Person X. He has a net worth of over $450 million and earned a massive $88 million during the last calendar. His “day job” pays around $26 million a year. You hate him already, right? Damned millionaires and billionaires!
Well, it gets worse, so here's your trigger warning. Person X is just the third person in history to sign a lifetime contract with an un-named company worth. That contract pays Person X $14 million a year, in addition to other contracts which pay handsomely over the course of the year. Lastly, he owns hotels in four different cities.
How sad is the world we live in, that a chunk of the population, including our friends on the Left, would read the above paragraphs, feel immediate hatred for Person X, and then seek to tear him or her down? I bet some of you have already messaged some of your friends ready to start a protest, right?
The person in question is a footballer named Cristiano Ronaldo. He earned $21.5 million playing football for Real Madrid last year and signed a life-long contract with Nike. Lastly, he has endorsements with companies you likely know quite well, including Herbalife, Castrol, Samsung, and KFC. Ronaldo also has his own brand of clothing and shoes.
Do you still want to protest? Do you still hate Person X? Do you still think he is holding you down? People’s reactions to rich people never cease to amaze me. Had I said he was a politician, a Wall Street Banker or a lawyer, people would have said bad things and would be ready to start a protest to bring down "the man." Yet, a sports personality or celebrity can earn millions, and everyone seems silent.
I recently saw an article on what Ronaldo spends his money, and it is a real list of goodies. I want to take that list and share some figures with those who think that Ronaldo’s living a wealthy lifestyle doesn’t economically benefit others apart from himself. So let’s start with the most “grotesque” spending, shall we?
Ronaldo has a $7.1 million villa built by architect, Joaquin Torres, in La Finca which is an exclusive community in Madrid. Naturally, his place is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, an indoor swimming pool, and every amenity that one can imagine.
Now, the line from our liberal friends is always the same. “Why does someone need that type of villa?” America has a founding document called the Bill of Rights, not the bill of needs. Secondly, if we truly believe all men are created equal, then what gives one person the right to tell another what they really need?
However, let’s move onto economics. Our liberal friends only see a villa worth $7.1 million and excessive wealth. I see an amazing pipeline of jobs directly and directly supplied by someone buying that Villa. The direct jobs are clear–all the builders, site supervisors, masons, electricians, plumbers, roofers, painters, glaziers, and gardeners.
I also see the jobs created by the products needed to build this house, including bricks, mortar, wires, water, tiles, doors, windows, sofas, tables, and chairs, among countless other items. I picture the countless jobs created indirectly by this purchase, as every company involved needs products like insurance, property rates, gas, electric, and refuse. Lastly, what is the difference between the creators of products? Is it somehow noble to create a brick or a door for a house worth $150k and wrong to create a brick or door for a $7.1 million villa, or is a job a job?
If the Ronaldo’s villa did not trigger you, his amazing car collection might. He drives a $300,000 Lamborghini Aventador, a Bentley, a Porsche, a Mercedes, to name a few. It's not fair that one person has all those cars, after all , ow many cars can someone drive at once?
Once again, all our liberal friends see is a $300k price tag and a fancy car. I once again see a lot of economic wealth and jobs being created by one purchase. Every car needs metal, an engine, exhaust, wheels, brakes, doors, windows, seats and all the extras like stereos and sat navs that are the norm today.
In fact, I did an online search looking for how many individual items are in a car. I could not find a number for the above cars, but an average Toyota has around 30,000 individual items. Now think of all jobs created indirectly by him buying that one car as he helps pay the salary and commission of the sales rep and the sales manager. He paid a part of the salaries of mechanics and service department and administration departments.
Ronaldo lives the wealthy lifestyle others can only dream of. He has an $18.5 million apartment in Trump Towers, a $160k Jacob & Co watch, eats at all the fancy restaurants, and wears only the finest clothes. He once liked a wax statue of himself so much, that he reportedly spent $31,000 on it, and hired a hair stylist to make sure the statue has his current hair style.
Ronaldo does more with his money than living a fancy lifestyle. He does more than creating jobs with his purchases. Why? Because like most rich folks, and especially sports stars, they start looking for wealth creation opportunities after their playing days are over. Ronaldo recently created a gorgeous, football-themed hotel in his hometown of Madeira, Portugal to go along with three other hotels around the world.
While I cannot find the correct number of employees at each hotel, I believe a minimum of at least one hundred people is not an unrealistic assumption.
Lastly, there is Ronaldo’s charity work which includes a donation of $165,000 to a Portuguese cancer center and $83,000 to fund a 10-year-old fan’s brain surgery.
Sadly, there are people who will read this and will still seek to tear Cristiano Ronaldo down, convinced that his wealth is somehow holding them down. I can only hope that others will read this and see him as an individual, but that they will also have a greater appreciation for economics and how jobs are really created.
Lastly, the next time you hear a politician speak out in favor of increasing taxes on the top 1%, remember Ronaldo and ask which job would you NOT like him to create. After all, that tax increase might make him decide to stop eating out as much, buying an extra appliance around the house, or investing in yet another hotel, all of which will have an impact on other people in positive ways.
This is an article based on a recent monologue by Freedoms Disciple. To listen, you can do so for free by clicking directly on the links for SoundCloud, ITunes or Google Play.
Jonathon Dunne is an Irishman who dreams of one day living becoming an American. He has a weekly podcast featured on the Blaze, which can be found at the links directly above. Jonathon is also a writer, public speaker, and is CCO of Lanterns Buzz Radio Network.