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Leave It to Ringo to Burst the Bubble of the Super-Rich

04.30.2007 05:14 | DISPATCHES

Former Beatle Paul McCartney's wealth approaches a billion dollars –- give or take a hundred million depending on what, in the absence of a pre-nup, his estranged (or just plain strange) wife takes him for. Ringo Starr can't be far behind.


Personally, I have little sympathy for the rich because I don't swallow the notion that wealth creates wealth (except for those just a class or two down from the super-rich). Money is like energy, which, according to its law of conservation, can neither be created nor destroyed, just mutated or moved around. Acquiring wealth inevitably means impoverishing others.

But Ringo Starr, however rich, remains a regular guy, if only because it's fans he's got to please, not shareholders. In the recent Rolling Stone 40th anniversary issue, he deftly demonstrated the fallacy of the rich-man-is-an-island mentality to which the rich fall prey with their gated communities. You know, as in "I've got mine" or "I'm aboard. Pull up the ladder." 

Drumroll, please (Oh, sorry, Ringo -- forgot you were famous for your inability to play a paradiddle. You're still a great drummer!). . .

"When car manufacturers were against catalytic converters to reduce emissions, I thought, 'What are they breathing? Do they have their own air? . . . how exciting is it to make all that money and your kids have got asthma?"


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