What would I do with a billion dollars? I can’t even imagine having that kind of money. I wouldn’t want that kind of power or responsibility. I think I would give about $900 million of it to charities that serve the poor, groups fighting for LGBT equality, and groups fighting for nerd causes and individual liberties like the Electronic Freedom Foundation, the Free Software Foundation, and the Child’s Play Charity. I think I might give a few million dollars to some open-source projects. How much more awesome would a desktop Linux distribution be if it had some real money behind it and the people developing it could afford to work full-time? Maybe they could finally develop a video driver that doesn’t give me terrible eyestrain.
With the remaining $100 million, I would put about $90 million in a series of diversified medium-risk investments. A lot of it I would want to put out as loans to people starting small businesses in low-income neighborhoods. That would provide my heirs with enough income to never work again, but they will have to prove they’re worthy of the money before they can inherit it. I’m thinking some kind of reality TV program where they have to debase and humiliate themselves in front of a national audience to pick up my table scraps. Or maybe it can only come out in matching funds (for every dollar that they earn, they will get a dollar of my inheritance.)
The rest of the money I will spend on a nice house (I’m thinking a hobbit hole) in the country where there’s a lot of green trees and wide open nature. My fiancee and I will work on our writing and not have to be bothered by crowds ever again. We might travel a bit too. My fiancee told me this story of this rich man who spent his summers on Isle Royale, where she worked, by paying to rent a hotel room there for three months. That would be pretty awesome too.
It would be nice to have the money and time to do whatever I wanted to. I just wouldn’t want to be a billionaire. Judging from the other billionaires out there in the world, it sounds like being that wealthy would make you a jerk.