Every year, the wealth fetishists over at Forbes compile an exhaustive list of the 400 richest Americans. It's a rarefied club, whose admittance requires an aggregate worth in the billions. Not surprisingly, a number of Dallasites made the cut -- 16 in fact.
They range from oldies-but-goodies like Ross Perot, T. Boone Pickens and Harold Simmons, along with a few you've probably never heard of. May I introduce you, ladies and gentlemen, to a few members of the 0.0001 percent living among us. Remember their names because, by and large, these are the people flooding Republican Super PACs with cash in this post-Citizens United age.
Andrew Beal is apparently the richest guy in Dallas. He's number 41 on the least, and is worth some $8.4 billion. He's an investment banker who made a lot of smart moves as the economy slid into recession. Last year, he lost a federal appeals court decision, which ruled he had constructed a sham partnership to evade taxes.
You all know Harold Simmons, right? He's the man who masterfully pulled some strings to get a radioactive waste dump in West Texas approved by the state legislature, against the recommendations of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality scientists, who fear it may contaminate the water table. He's worth $7.1 billion
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No list would be complete without a Hunt, of course. That's Ray Lee Hunt, an oil and real estate magnate worth $5.2 billion. He discovered a major oil field in the Kurdish north of Iraq, was a major contributor to George W. Bush and is a major backer of his presidential library at SMU, none of which is even remotely related, of course.
How about Robert Rowling? He's an investments guy worth $4.9 billion. He owns the Omni Hotel chain and Gold's Gym.
Trevor Rees-Jones, worth $4.5 billion, and his Chief Oil and Gas got in early on the Barnett Shale gas rush. He smartly flipped his lease acreage to the majors and made off like a bandit.
The list goes on, of course, but after a while all the zeros become monotonous, as does the realization that these people have way, way more money in their back pocket than you will so much as touch in your entire life.