It strikes me that most of life’s most exquisite comforts can be had with ~$10M or so.
- Apartment in the center of a world class city (luxury condo if in the Second World).
- Holiday home.
- Nice vacations and gourmet restaurants.
- Model-tier gf.
^ The virgin financial docs sleuthing to suggest Bad Orange Man isn’t a billionaire vs. the Chad PHYSIOGNOMY proof of the same.
Conversely, though, it seems to me that you can’t do very much at all extra between about $10M and $10B.
Only significant exception that comes to mind is space tourism, for which you currently need ~$20M (so need to be at least $10Ms range). But that sort of proves the general point. And Papa Musk should lower that number a couple orders of magnitude anyway over the next decade, to something commensurate with taking a cruise on a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker in the Arctic (~$40k).
I suppose another example is that owning and operating a private jet becomes realistic at $100M, whereas at $10M it would be highly profligate. But, again, that’s small peas in the grand scheme of things.
To radically transform the world – to start influencing major areas of research, funding insurrectionist and irredentist movements, etc. – you really need to be in the $10B+ range.
Bloomberg gives Soros wealth at $8B, but other sources peg it at closer to $25B. Musk of course is at ~$200B. He also has singularly big ambitions, such as Mars colonization, which will really require trillions.
Sean McMeekin estimates that the Germans gave the Bolsheviks 50 million gold marks (=$1B today) which would confirm the point.
Yes, you can strike lucky with more targeted spending (NRx/rationalist-sphere people make a big deal of “leverage”). But as with making money itself, you need both brains and luck to find that moonshot. German attempts to foment instability in Britain by way of Ireland failed.
The LDNR exists in significant part thanks to the semi-private efforts of Konstantin Malofeev. Another example of money “well leveraged” (= producing real world results).
But for every such effort, you have ten that involve throwing money into a hole. Bill Gates’ efforts to find the next African Einstein? Press X for doubt.
Scattershot policy in which you fund many different groups and people in the expectation that some of them strike gold. This describes Jacob Schiff and Soros. But you do need a lot of money for that.
You could have probably bumped up research in radical life extension forwards by at least a couple of years if you had invested hundreds of millions in it a decade ago. (Now the commercial private sector is taking it up, making it increasingly moot). But most billionaires didn’t get to be billionaires by throwing their money around on moonshots. They are spiritual normies. Musk and Soros, in their own ways, are not. But they’re the exception, not the rule.
Anyhow, what I’m really getting at here is that there’s a big filter between the mere millionaires and the billionaires.
Seems to me that most normies who do “make it” leave it that and enjoy life poolside. It takes true autism after reaching that point to trundle on into the billions.
But that, plus vision beyond those billions, seems to be a very rare thing.
PS. Bezos is also a normie. His main distinction from the normie normie is that he at least recognizes his normieness, but tries to disguise it by emulating Musk.