Everyone is a Billionaire

July 2020 ยท 3 minute read

We are all billionaires. But not in the way you are thinking. Let me clarify using a bit of back-of-the-envelope math. I’m feeling optimistic, so I will assume you will live 100 years. Most people average between 60 and 100 heart beats per minute, which turns out to be between 3 and 5 billion beats per human life, give or take. Living shorter means you get less beats, probably closer to 2 billion.

So there you are, 2 billion beats per life. Congratulations, you are a billionaire! What are you going to do about it? Well, no, we don’t get to spend it the way money is spent, heart beat utilization is far more democratic. We get to live one heart beat at a time.

You can’t lend heart beats and expect returns. Heart transfers are a thing, but a one-time thing. No return policy. And once you lent your heart to somebody, you are out, so much for return of investment. Out of all the loans you can get, a heart loan is probably a thing you don’t want to get, unless you really need to. Then you definitely want to get it. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay any interest, you just get to play for a little longer, borrowing from somebody’s bad luck. But this old new heart doesn’t allow you to go on a spending spree either. Apart from bacteria, few things in the real world can be accumulated or spent at the velocity money can travel.

Indeed, money is the only thing that you can collect in such amount that you get orders of magnitude more than almost everyone else. But money isn’t real. And the money most billionaires claim to have isn’t real either. They often rely on volatile positions that can get wiped out with a change in sentiment. Even if they wanted to cash, they must exit their very profitable positions. After cashing, there’s no more profitable positions in the future to rely on. To keep the cash, or any asset amount, they depend on the market not crashing and the rules of the game not taxing them too much. Most money billionaires are not real in the same way your heart beat is real.

Almost nobody is a billionaire, not in the way I’m thinking. A billionaire should be somebody who helped more than a billion people and that has only been accomplished by a handful of selected human beings. But I’m feeling optimistic, helping a billion people is, on average, one every two heart beats. So…What are you going to do about it?