The latest issue of Texas Monthly has its annual list of wealthiest Texans. Many of the subjects of these sorts of lists hate them. They would prefer to be known for their achievements, their success or their charity rather than simply for their wealth.
Wealth, of course, can be a measure of success and achievement, but certainly with a lengthy list like this one, there isn’t room to do in-depth profiles of each person. What you get is a snapshot rather than a rich portrait, if you’ll pardon the pun.
“Rich lists” and other rankings have been a part of business reporting for as long as I’ve been doing it. In some ways, business is always about keeping score, and many of those on the list have a pretty good idea of where they rank long before they see it in print. So do politicians, non-profit leaders and endowment-seeking universities.
For the rest of us, though, these lists have a different sort of value. They remind us that money is power — it’s the gateway to access and influence. We need to know whose footsteps echo loudest in the halls of power.
What value, if any, do you find in these rankings of wealth?
This year, I contributed some of the entries to Texas Monthly’s list. Can you guess which ones?