Africa's richest woman, Angolan billionaire Isabel Dos Santos: a kleptocratic princess


#1

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#2

It’s not fair to single her out as a kleptocrat. All extreme wealth is only possible through theft of some sort or another. Her crime is perhaps more visible or more directly contravenes convention, but every single person on the Forbes billionaires list is a thief responsible for death and misery the world over.


#3

Handbag shops in Zurich are being made aware of who she is right now.


#4

Some of them are fashion moguls, so I assume you are speaking of investing money in unsavory industries? Or something else?


#5

At best, that might be true; but it obscures some salient details in degree. She pegs the needle on more or less all the kleptocrat indices to a degree that some billionaires could only dream of.


#6

The “clean” billionaires, the Eric Schmidts and the Warren Buffets of the world, are removed from the death and misery they cause by many more degrees than Dos Santos, but that does not diminish the death and suffering required for their wealth to exist. In a way, she is more commendable for her relationship with reality than the comfortable park avenue hypocrites.

A fashion mogul is one of the easiest examples of accepted rapaciousness in our culture. The are 1129 dead Bangladeshis are only the most recent most visible example. Nearly every worker at every level but the top of the fashion enterprise is underpaid so that the ownership and investors can reap their profits.

There is nothing that a single person can do - NOTHING - that is worth more than a few million dollars per year. People manage to make more than that by cheating the people who help them accomplish the project out of their fair share of the proceeds. All billionaires are thieves, and today they are thieves at such a magnitude that it literally depresses the economies of entire countries.


#7

That and the horrific, monstrous civil war that afflicted Angola for decades. We know it didn’t benefit the poor people, but it was worth it for someone to keep it going for all that time.


#8

Why “a few million dollars per year?” What metric are you using? What do you tell a person who says, “There is nothing that a single person can do - NOTHING - that is worth more than a few hundred thousand dollars per year.”

What, precisely, is the top amount of money a person can earn per year before they automatically deserve to be condemned, no matter who they are or what they do?


#9

Royalty is kleptocratic by nature. If she declares herself a queen, or has some cleric do it or whatever, how is that different from what the Habsburgs did in the 1200-1330


#11

Explain to me how Google causes “death and misery”? How does Buffet cause “death and misery” when the Coca-Cola stock he invests in rises X% in value over Y years?

It’s not (always) zero-sum.


#12

We have billionaire concern trolls? Neat.


#13

Really? There’s really no difference between the Brothers Koch and Sergei Brin?

Isn’t Google, by connecting the poorest person with practically all Earth’s knowledge a force for good-- ie, the opposite of death and misery? [Yes, s/he has to have an internet connection, but internet cafes are pretty standard in 3rd world countries.]

I would have though someone who says “Google causes death and misery” is obviously the troll.


#14

That’s an interesting question. I have been involved in a couple of startups. If they had worked out I might have made many millions (they didn’t). Would I deserve it (taking risks, working very hard for very little on spec, trying to create something new)? Do I deserve that it didn’t happen?

I know that if one of them had ballooned into something huge I would have felt like I earned it. Since both were something ‘new’ and digitally based, I have a hard time seeing how anyone would be hurt by that success. But maybe I’m missing something.

Very different from inheriting billions from a kleptocratic murderous dictator father.


#15

We’re in complete agreement. I think the idea that we can judge people simply based on how much money they make is asinine. Automatically declaring a multi-millionaire to be a “cheat” is no different from automatically declaring a poor person to be stupid or lazy.


#16

It’s not as if my heart is bleeding for any random skadillionaire, but FranklinCampo’s statements are arbitrary and pointless, especially when he sets the bar at “a few million dollars a year.” If someone’s going to be a socialist, go large or go home.


#17

OH NO. She had a rich parent and that parent just didn’t give all his wealth to…who exactly I’m not sure, but he’s bad bad bad. And she is as well.


#18

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