Friday, July 13, 2007

Every town has one...if not more...
And they make such attractive targets...

You've probably seen 'em...the really rich people who aren't ashamed to flaunt their wealth in everyones' faces. They have enough money that they don't really care if they're liked or not. I'm still getting to know my way around here in my little Oregon town, so I really don't know "who's who" down here, but I remember such an individual in the place I used to live. He owns the town newspaper. He has a phone-book company in that same town. In the past, he's owned the town radio station, and a construction company, both of which he dispensed with at a whim.

He has a huge golf course on the lake adjacent to the town. He's built a huge condominium complex adjacent to that golf course. He has a huge estate on the other side of the lake. He has a huge luxury hotel (with prices to match and then some) on the lake. He has a big residence in an exclusive area in town, which is walled off from the public and is lit so well at night that from a distance, it looks like an oversized pinball machine. And now, he's got one of the largest sailboats in existence. The lake rises two feet when he puts it in the water. (Okay, that last part's a little fib.)

He's in his '70s by now. When does the accumulation become too much? When does the enterprenurial spirit finally reach its end? When does the process of acquisition run its course? When is enough "enough"? Or is it ever? I suppose, just as my little finch birds are hard-wired for building nests and propagating the species, some folks are hard-wired to such a degree that they can never stop...

I'll end with some lyrics from a 1968 song by Ray Stevens: "You better...take care of business, Mr. Businessman, what's your plan, make a stand...before it's too late...and you throw your life away..."


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