One of the many advantages to becoming humongously rich- beyond not having to pay your taxes or being able to buy your twenty-two-year-old daughter an $88 million New York apartment- is that your opinions can have a disproportionate impact on the world.
No more haranguing your mates down the boozer, in the vain hope that they’ll agree with your slightly self-serving view that smoking twenty-a-day is actually very good for you.
No more boring them senseless with your tiresome assertion that climate change is all a giant conspiracy and that, in fact, carbon is really good for the planet because you can make pencils out of it and stuff.
Instead, as a super-wealthy individual or corporation, all you have to do is anonymously bung large wads of cash at your nearest shouty, free-market think tank- and sit back and let them do the rest.
Because these organisations, staffed as they tend to be by pliable boffins, will then use the magic of pseudo-science to give your barking ideas a shiny coat of respectability.
Ideas that, relentlessly regurgitated via a compliant media that considers think tanks to be ‘independent sources of expertise’, go on to profoundly influence elected officials.
So, keep on buying those lottery tickets and one day you too could help to convince the world that smoking cures cancer and that bathing in fossil fuels is the key to eternal life.