The Egoism Pledge
A billionaire converses with a fellow billionaire with an opposing world view.
The stylus moved. It moved like a staff striking into fertile soil. Only the soil was a digital tablet and the staff opened the gates for signees. Thirty-eight-year-old billionaire Elgier Ossett looked at his twenty-something wife and they smiled. Warm. Just like this document that he had devised for the sole purpose of helping to eliminate poverty the world over by encouraging building businesses. It was crowdfunding on a major scale. It was...special. As a result of him being so supportive to so many people, Ossett didn’t hesitate to inform all of his billionaire friends and family to donate to the mission he dubbed the Egoism Pledge.
Opposition still existed. The Sin Pledge, as he named the competing pledge so-called the Offering Pledge, catered to the indigent masses who would only be inspired to remain in their impoverished conditions and expect handouts and freebies like kids sticking out their tongues to catch snowflakes. Only this was an avalanche of cash that some of the billionaires had already signed and couldn’t take their money from out of that fund. Sixty-ish Trozier Longtooth’s brainchild, the Sin Pledge had already gained one thousand signatures. That meant that tens of billions if not hundreds of billions of dollars would be flowing to “help” the lowest brackets of the economic apparatus. Longtooth called Ossett.
“So, I see you’ve launched your little undertaking.” He sighed deeply. “It’s so cute that you’re actually going through with it Elgy, my boy.”
Elgier cleared his throat. “I’m not begging nor am I coddling nor do I intend to make my donors feel bad about themselves, their work, or their fortunes. Unlike you, I know that it is the individual that must create the wealth and if they choose to support this cause it will be out of selfish greed.”
“My, my Elgy. You don’t have to hurl profanities at me.”
“I’ve yet to throw even a syllable of sullied language. What you’re in the business of doing, after you sold all of your businesses, is to hypnotize people into giving up their funds to help people that never could or may never produce for themselves. My Pledge is aimed at gaining enough dollars to sustain businesses and to aid in letting entrepreneurs know that they have an opportunity to found their own billion-dollar companies if it is in their rational self-interest.”
“Well, few people are rational, especially billionaires. We’re crazy. And you mean that we’re self absorbed and self-centered.”
“Speak for the one who just spoke.”
“Ah, um, Elgy…” Longtooth changed his tone a bit lower, “Look, I just don’t want you to be hurt by the fact that over a thousand signees have already endorsed my pledge. And yours...you expect American billionaires to just relinquish their life’s earnings to propel you further into fame and continue your own fortune?”
“What else would they do? Go to you?”
“I’ve just said that I’ve got over a…”
“Yes, I know what you said. But the truth will always outweigh a lie. And your pledge is the most crimson lie ever to be purported. It says that a billionaire somehow through faith or society ‘found’ their riches. And then, since they did not make them, they should be driven to throw up their hands and allow money trucks to haul their wealth away. Not I. I intend to trade with my fellow billionaires. I intend to show them that their work was not to be a slave to the masses who wished they had their money but never took the actions to acquire it.”
An alert on Ossett’s tablet alerted him to the list of those who had just signed the Egoism Pledge. It read two thousand of the three thousand billionaires in America. Ossett grinned. He turned back to the smartphone.
“It appears that a significant amount of signees have forgone your pledge to go with mine. This is not gloating. It’s only the facts.”
Longtooth looked in horror as his numbers stood at a halt.
“Why there must be a glitch in the system. Altruism is the only way to be. We billionaires have to bless each other.”
“No. Every individual should be benevolent, billionaire or not.”