Sunday, January 23, 2011

Let 'em Eat Paint

Cigarette merchant Carlos Slim became The World's Richest Mexican after basically being handed a monopoly on telephone service by the Mexican government 20 years ago. Which means he worked too damn hard to just give that money away.

On donating half his fortune to charity like billionaires Buffett and Gates are doing, Slim says it's the wrong way to resolve the world's problems.

"What we need to do as businessmen, is to help to solve the problems, the social problems," he explains. "To fight poverty, but not by charity."

Carlos Slim knows what Mexico needs. No, not charity...

Carlos Slim Art Museum in Mexico City Nearing Completion

MEXICO CITY – The most ambitious cultural project undertaken to date by Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world according to Forbes magazine, is nearing completion, and in a few months will exhibit in an innovative museum “the best” of his private art collection, made up of some 66,000 works, chiefly from Latin America and Europe.

Construction of the new Soumaya Museum, designed by his son-in-law, the Mexican architect Fernando Romero, started on Mexico City’s west side in 2008, and its inauguration is slated for this coming April, its future curator Alfonso Miranda said on Friday.

The imposing edifice, with its soaring curvilinear structure and a facade covered with 16,000 hexagonal mirrors of varying sizes, will boast an exhibition space of 6,000 square meters (64,000 square feet) distributed on six floors.

Notable among the masterpieces chosen for display are works by Picasso, Rodin, Dali and the Mexicans Diego Rivera, Clemente Orozco and Rufino Tamayo.

Because who needs bread when you have such pretty circuses?


Anonymous said...

To some sort I have to agree with him.

I agree that the solution is never charity, but job oportunities, education and fair payment. In the case of Slim, he should invest his money to create more jobs but PLEASE with a decent salary and help to education more scholarships, I know there is the "Beca Telmex" but it is hard to get, it should be more easy to get and to more students.

And in an "open letter" to Slim, cut down the cost of the telephone and internet services, it is way to expensive based in the average income of mexicans, if you want to compare it to UK's probably is cheaper, but in the UK there are better salaries.

Tyler said...

How much is enough? The fact you are the richest man in the world should be an embarrassment to you as it came off the backs of people who mostly can't afford it.

Mexfiles said...

Of course, anything anyone does is open to interpretation, but what Slim said was that it was better for the nation if his companies pay taxes on their (ill-got) gains, than it would be if it was plowed into tax-exempt charitable trusts.

Comparisons between BT and TelMex are not all that useful. When British Telecom was privatized, it had the advantage of system wide homologous switching systems and infrastucture. TelMex did not, and, until the 1990s, private telephone service in Mexico was extremely rare (per capita, Botswana had more private telephones than Mexico). Homologation costs, as well as exponentially expanded service, meant a humongous investment that — for better or worse — is financed by consumers under the privatization agreement.

Of course, Slim got filthy rich(er) from TelMex, but I think his personal worth is over-rated. Forbes includes the assets of companies controlled by Slim, which in the U.S. would be counted as corporate assets... and is including the assets of the Slim family as a whole as his personal assets.

The Museo Soumaya is the legacy of Carlos Slim's late wife, Soumaya Domit. I'm afraid one needs to use a Ouiji board to contact her about any complaints.

Ziggy Bombanuts said...

This just in from Brooklyn....
Further proof Mexican foods can be unhealthy.

Anonymous said...

Charity will feed a poor man for a day, but good work and education will help him, and to have that entrepreneurship is needed.

Dave said...

All fine and good, Anon....couldn't Slim at least give, say the first 5,000 street kids accordions so they have the opportunity for entrepreneurship?

Don Cuevas said...

My answer is to buy shares in Carlos Slim's companies.

Don Cuevas

Fausto said...

Endless debate! Some people believe that Mexico would be better off without Carlos Slim, some believe that it would be better if there were a dozen of Slims.
In the 19th century, the USA had the “Robber Barons”, a wilder version of Carlos Slim. Eastern Europe, in the 1940´s, went for an economy without a Carlos Slim. See the results.
How to create the wealth that my leftist liberal friends want to be, rightfully so, more equitably distributed? Never got a good answer.
Of course, don Carlos should lower the Telmex/Telcel tariffs, create jobslutiblyr, raise the salaries of the employees and give away a good percentage of his wealth. We are all very generous with someone else´s money!