Roy Exum: The Richest Man’s Solution

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

If you’ve never heard of Carlos Slim, suffice it to say the brilliant Mexican telecom tycoon is considered to be the richest man in the world. His family fortune is somewhere around $74 billion – give or take – and he is legendary for his philanthropy. He just gave the Clinton Global Initiative another $100 million.

But what you need to know is that he was asked the other day how to fix the United States economy and he said, “With the same things that were done in 2000 and 2001, when it was temporarily solved with big expenditures and very aggressive monetary and fiscal policy."

"According to Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast, Slim continued, “Aside from lowering taxes, we should be directing more money to the real economy, not to the financial economy. The volatility of the markets is so great that more is won or lost in a single day than in five years of accumulated interest. And that’s not a good thing.”

Slim, it turns out, is a pretty neat guy. He shared with Grove his solution for the world in which we live. “You need to support human development and human capital as much as possible. And we’ve had 25 years of programs, great programs. We supported 125,000 surgeries. We fund 15,000 scholarships every year for college and higher education. We gave bicycles for rural areas. We gave laptops.”

He adds: “We do something more interesting: We do digital libraries, and instead of lending books we lend laptops …You need education, and at the end of the day, you need people to have jobs. And education now will come through technological means.

“You cannot make thousands of universities or hundreds of thousands of professors, but with technology and the Internet you can have great courses and make a digital university,” he said, his common sense almost as blinding as his success.

Grove asked Slim about the atrocious murders of thousands and brutal violence in Mexico by drug cartels. “It’s a problem coming from the United States,” Slim replied.

“Because of the demand?” asked Grove.
“Because of everything. You stay with the money and the drugs. We stay with the weapons and the violence. And you’re selling the weapons to the consumers in Mexico. And the retail price [of the drugs] is, I don’t know how much bigger, let’s say ten times in the U.S. what it is in Mexico. And that means the demand is here and the money is here. It’s like what used to happen during prohibition in Chicago. You had a lot of violence there.”
What’s the solution?

“Follow the money,” replied the richest man in the world.

* * *

Karen Edmondson, the dynamic leader of Chattanooga’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, said over 7,000 took part in this past Sunday’s event and, while the totals for donations are still being counted, it appears this will be another record-breaking year in the group’s glorious campaign against breast cancer.

But Karen laughed when she was told Komen organizers in Savannah have just been denied a request to hang thousands of brassieres from the city’s busiest intersections in an effort to heighten awareness. “Right now we don’t have any plans to do that,” she finally said.

It seems some Savannah radio stations triggered the idea and the city council balked at the “appropriateness of hanging underwear across one of our main streets.” Regardless, the Race For The Cure is one of the most respected organizations in America and Edmonson is “thrilled Chattanooga did so well this year.”

* * *

C.J. Wickersham, a 21-year-old from Long Boat Key, Fla., was spear-fishing off Anna Maria Island on Sunday when he was severely bitten by a nine-foot-long bull shark. The moment he screamed, his friends dove off a nearby boat and, with “a lot of blood in the water,” then saved his life.

With no regard for their own safety, four of his buddies dove in the water, got him aboard the boat, tied a rope above his badly-mangled leg to staunch the blood flow, and raced to the closest marina. Alerting a rescue ambulance by cell phone, EMTs were waiting when they arrived and, after emergency surgery, C.J. is resting well in a St. Petersburg hospital.
The bite, approximately 15 inches long, required between 700 and 800 sutures, but that is nothing compared to the courage of C.J.’s pals who swam and pulled him from the bloody water with more sharks on the way.

* * *

QUOTE OF THE WEEK – A Fox News reporter was interviewing a Marine and, after she had talked with him about all the countries where he had been deployed, she asked if he had learned any languages. He replied, “Oh, no ma’am, we don’t go there to talk.”

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