Superyachts, space tourism and superegos

The world’s superyacht industry is flourishing. What does it tell us about billionaires, luxuries, staff, inequality and fate?

September 07, 2023

Photo of Norn
Would you like to comment?

You need to login first

Not a member yet?


Indeed, I rather suspect the social and economic forces leading to inequality in the modern world are strengthening—so we will have even larger gaps between the plutocrats like SImonyi and the rest of us.

As you say, though, some rich people try to do good with their money. Carnegie and Gates are controversial but interesting examples. The most extraordinary, though, is Chuck Feeney, an American billionaire, who donated about $8 bn (!!) to various charities over his lifetime (1931-2023). He died with assets of about $2 m. As he said, “I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth than to give while one is living—to personally devote oneself to meaningful efforts to improve the human condition. More importantly, today’s needs are so great and varied that intelligent philanthropic support and positive interventions can have greater value and impact today than if they are delayed when the needs are greater.”

For more on him, see Wiki,

HowAndWhy - 2023 10 22

Agreed, a good analysis with good comparisons of ship sizes (esp. Columbus vs. Nelson vs. Simonyi).  The conclusion, however, is very sad.  This extreme inequality is not going to abate, and the most needy people are not going to have their basic needs met for a very long time.  More of these rich people should follow the example of Andrew Carnegie or Bill Gates.

Peter_G_Moll - 2023 09 16

Nice analysis!

If we go further to find the root cause of why our world is as it is, we find that one of the heaviest culprits in inequalities and predatory behavior in general is monetary creation, which is currently delegated mainly to private banks. In reality, they are the ones that have the most power to shape the world we live in, since they decide what is more worthy of funding by creating money: space tourism or vaccines in Burundi, petrol extraction or our hospitals, war or education…

jtoumit - 2023 09 12

Reading mouse

Sign up for our email newsletter

Receive updates when we publish new content along with other exclusive bits and pieces.

Subscribe to our newsletter