If you follow the news in Europe, you may remember that Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and several other cities were turned upside down for a few days in November 2021.
In opposition to the quarantine policy, young people took to the streets to raise questions, and the police responded with unflinchingly.
At the same time, Europe’s richest are quietly congregated in lavish villas and yachts to have some fun at the MastersExpo.
Unlike the “zero yuan purchases” on the street, these wealthy people believe they are not only complying with local quarantine regulations, but also making their own contribution to a better world.
They shop for luxury items like convenience stores
Also known as the millionaire Expo, Masters Expo is a self-described “social organization that supports entrepreneurship with authenticity, craftsmanship and sustainability as its pillars.”
As an outsider it’s more of a club for the rich.
Every year in the Netherlands, there are various expos, big and small, and Masters Expo is one of the largest luxury expos, which has been held for 19 times.
Real luxury brands from all over the place, bantering with the rich, shaking champagne glasses and picking up the latest yachts and Porsches, are as slick and natural as carrying a grocery basket.
Even the rich may not be able to afford downtown Amu
In 2020, people still seem to believe that the epidemic will be over by summer.
But as we all know, it’s 2022 and the world is still in a bit of a mess. So for most people in the world, it’s somewhat depressing.
There is a plain old house in Amsterdam that has such a feeling.
The building is a conference centre for the Dutch Bicycle and car industry association, and it is not exactly luxury.
It’s not until you walk through the door that things change — diamonds, cars and yachts sparkle against crystal chandeliers, and visitors wander around to see new yachts and supercars, as well as “luxury” bikes that seem to have nothing to do with the environment.
The most interesting thing is that, even at the millionaires’ fair, the real estate agents are selling nothing more than luxury apartments on the outskirts of Amsterdam.
Perhaps this is a sign that Dutch house prices really do seem to have shot up to the point where high-rollers may no longer be able to afford downtown homes?
People at the top of the pyramid believe in sustainable lifestyles
Europe’s rich may feel the same way. Luxury cruises are still a big part of the market.
For 33,000 euros (240,000 yuan), you can board the five-star cruise commander Xia Gu for a two-week arctic adventure.
Steven, a travel agent, has visited the Arctic and seen eight polar bears.
“I thought it would be boring, but it wasn’t. As we crossed the 90th meridian, the whole ship was filled with popping champagne and party cheers.”
For Steven, polar bear watching on a luxury cruise ship is not an ostentatious display of wealth or an unconscious evasion of responsibility.
“I think it’s climate activism. We’ve taken sustainable living to a whole new level.”
He also noted that it is an “environmentally friendly cruise ship.”
“We welcome scientists who don’t have to pay a penny to join us and give visitors a lecture on global warming.”
Steven even thinks that travelling to the Arctic could help us fight climate change.
“Once visitors see how beautiful and fragile the area is, they want to protect it.”
Interestingly, when it comes to the Arctic ice, he seems to have the opposite view that climate change is not that serious.
“Of course, historically, the amount of ice has decreased, but new ice is created every year.”
“It took days just to break through the ice on our trip, and there was ice everywhere!”
In fact, while the amount of polar sea ice is increasing, glaciers and ice shelves are rapidly melting at the same time, producing large amounts of fresh water. We’ve actually lost 95 percent of Arctic ice in the last 30 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Lamborghini is a freebie. Virtual NFT is the upstart
At the center of the room is a flamboyant lamborghini decorated with car ornaments by artist P A B L oLucker, whose cyber-like stickers are his creations.
However, the 500, 000 euro supercar is not for sale, it is just a gift.
How luxurious is the real product?
In fact, what the artist is going to sell is an electronic art NFT, which belongs to the virtual world.
Lucker says he’s here to “shock people” rather than make money.
“I think a lot of people here are a little too calm.”
A well-known Local Dutch YouTuber named Kwebbelkop had his eye on the item, but he didn’t give a damn about lamborghini.
“I wanted to buy it, not for the Lamborghini, but for NFT. I’ll sell the car and race on the digital road in my NFT.”
The party ended promptly at six o ‘clock, and even the nouveau riche and the powerful had no intention of violating the government’s pandemic measures.
In general, to your correspondent’s surprise, the rich seem to be more interested in humility, efficiency and helping others than just having fun.
Rich people are not interested in money
Looking back at the event, your correspondent chatted with Rosanna, a business strategist, in the drinks area over a glass of sparkling wine.
“We need to think about what changes we should make, what new business models we should invent. We are in an age of disruption.” Rosanna said.
She also mentioned that in her spare time she often helps young women who have hit a brick wall in the workplace, talking to them from a personal experience point of view and giving advice.
Rosana and her husband were preparing to open a luxury mountain view resort in Modena when COVID-19 came and no one ever booked their room, so they ended up staying there on their own.
Making money isn’t easy for anyone, but the rich are more optimistic and resilient.
At the bar, the reporter met the CEO of a cryptocurrency startup, who first talked about hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic in the 1920s, and then cryptocurrency, based on current social conditions.
The young CEO reminded reporters that there is no inflation in the world of cryptocurrencies. The prices of various currencies in the market may continue to rise and fall, but he said he is very bullish on the long-term prospects of cryptocurrencies. His business is growing by leaps and bounds.
He also said he was not a material person. “I just came to buy a few bottles of wine.”
In retrospect, they were no different from the other guests this reporter interviewed, as if the digital rich weren’t as keen on material possessions as OldMoney.
While countries define poverty differently, the global gap between rich and poor is growing in the same way
The wealth of the world’s richest has doubled during the pandemic, while the poor have gotten poorer, according to Oxfam Holland.
According to a recent report, the wealth of the world’s 10 richest people has doubled during the pandemic, while 160 million people around the world are living poorer than before.
This means that the gap between rich and poor is, and will continue to grow.
Oxfam’s report is based on data from Forbes’ 2021 billionaires list, which includes Elon Musk of Tesla, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, and Warren Buffett, among others.
Before the pandemic began, they had a combined wealth of $700 billion, and now it’s $1.5 trillion. Oxfam noted that the increase was unusual and “the fastest ever.”
The report also points out another alarming figure: the wealthiest 2,121 people in the Netherlands control more wealth than the poorest 10 million combined. “Our government also has a responsibility to address the gap between rich and poor, but we hardly see it being discussed in parliament.” Michelle Selvas, a spokeswoman for Oxfam.
In the complex social problems caused by the pandemic, these vulnerable groups are more likely to be expelled or deprived of educational opportunities.
According to pre-pandemic statistics, the Netherlands has a high poverty baseline compared to other European countries due to its dynamic economy and open and inclusive social atmosphere.
Poverty and income inequality by its own high standards are relatively low, among the best in rich Europe, and have been at the same level since the start of the century.