Jimmie Reid famously said
“The rat-race is for rats, not people”
Did you know that the 10 richest individuals could pay for enough Covid-19 vaccinations to immunise every person on the planet, yes, you read right, every person on this planet. And they could do it, not out of their total wealth but from the profits, they made during 2020 alone.
Jeff Bezos could have given every Amazon employee a $105,000 bonus with the money earned since March, according to Oxfam.
In December 2020, the total wealth of billionaires worldwide hit $11.95 trillion – equivalent to the recovery spending of all the G20 governments put together, according to the charity.
Is it not time to talk about a MAXIMUM wage and not a MINIMUM wage? For it is not about the cash but the power that cash welds.
My father was a great believer in cutting your suit to the cloth or living within ones mean’s something that has rubbed off on me. When I was still in my teens, I would droll after an Indian Chief, motorcycle, but when I came to buy my first motorcycle, it was a 350cc ex-WD Royal Enfield that cost me £7.10 shillings, I paid cash for my motorcycle, so cutting my suit to fit the cloth, meant I could afford to run it, making for a lot of happy motorcycling. Now retired I am on a fixed budget so back to living within my means, and I have to say very content with my lot.
When I lived in Edinburgh and worked at SAI in Leith docks, I worked a shift system and when on night shit, we would get a visit from our local police patrol officer, (good evening all), he would come in for a blether and a cup of tea at the canteen. Over the years we became friends.
You would be hard-pressed to meet a more generous honest man than Rick (Richard Mackay). One night he told me how, he and a fellow officer, were intending to make shampoo in their garage and sell it to, mostly commercial outlets, in large bottles. Shampoo at that time came in small ‘one wash’ sashes costing around 7 pence, not the big economy bottles we are accustomed to today. His friend would do the mixing in his garage and Rick would be the salesman. They purchased the chemicals and once the first batches were bottle up, Rick spent all his spare time building up a market for their product. Sadly when they seemed to be doing well and talking about quitting the police force, the partner ran off with every penny in the bank. Rick was just too trusting and honest.
I was heading along Princess Street one Saturday afternoon when I met Rick coming out of Binn’s,
“Boy do you look smart”
I commented on his dressed, he was wearing a well-tailored suit, when most men at that time wore casuals.
he told me and over a coffee, at a nearby café he told me what had happened, and how he had become homesick for selling, so applied and secured a job with Bear Brand nylons.
“Sorry,” I told him “no sale, they are so uncomfortably when you have hairy legs like mine”
Once reacquainted the bonds of friendship continued, we would from time to time meet up with his wife for a meal. They say that behind every great man there is a great woman, she was the pushy one, although Rick was a hard worker.
One day he phoned and asked me to a party. It turned out it was a going-away party, he was leaving the Athens of the North for Gerrards Cross. It transpired that he had been Head Hunted by an Austrian company, that made high fashion clothes for the European market, (import tax made their goods to expensive to sell in the UK) here they wished to enter the leotard and tights market. The cloth would be produced in the UK, to their specification, and the garments manufactured by a company in Ireland. Rick was to be their Sales Manager for the whole of the UK.
We kept in touch and when his Christmas card arrived, a year or so later, not only did it have Christmas greetings but an invitation to coming down to Gerrards Cross for a holiday, we jumped at the opportunity and arranged to come down at the Fair Fortnight.
I had a tour of the warehouse at Slough and a dram from a bottle of 12-year-old malt, that came from a bottle in his well-stocked office bar. The man had moved up in the world, big time.
Even although he was clearly doing well, there were days when the Mercedes, would pull into the drive, Rick would enter, the door would slam shut, and wife and kids would scatter.
“Walter would you like to come into the den please?”.
Rick clearly had a bad day. Two large classes of 12-year-old malt would be pored and we would chow the fat until he unwound.
It was the middle Saturday of our stay, Rick said he was ferrying his son to a birthday party at the home of one of his school friends, did I want to come along for the ride? Yes, please, a sleek Mercedes was way above my pay grade, I was a Vauxhall man at the time. The house we ended up at belonged to a famous sports presenter at that time called Colman. The party was being held outside, and around a massive outdoor pool. After introducing me to the man himself, Rick made his excuses and went off to meet other he knew there, I suppose a businessman at that level are never off duty.
During my conversation with Colman, I found out that the pool was heated and that the weekly running cost was more than I paid each month for the rent on my two bed flat in Edinburgh.
I could never envy either of these men their wealth, for I would never want the lifestyle that went with it. The house on the right side of the track, (probable with a mortgage to match), the Mercedes and the heated swimming pool, whose running costs added up to more than an average month rent on an Edinburgh flat, in Gorgie. Everything comes at a price in this life, for that price is too high,
In the movie ‘High Society’, Frank Sinatra, sings the line,
“Who wants to be a millionaire?”
Liz Imbrie, replies
That pretty much sums it up for me.