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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

That's with a 'b'

Nice to see we have our share of the wealth. Four Hoosiers are among the new Forbes list of the world's top billionaires:

Ranking the highest among Hoosiers, Gayle Cook, 78, the widow of medical device maker and philanthropist William Cook, took the place of her late husband in the 330th spot with a fortune of $3.4 billion.

Mall magnate and Pacers owner Herb Simon, 77, jumped to the 719th spot on the list this year with an estimated worth of $1.8 billion, up from $1.1 billion and a ranking of 880 last year.

Meanwhile, Crown Point businessman Dean White, 88, also boosted his estimated fortune to $1.8 billion, up from $1.7 billion last year, but dropped in the rankings from 582 to tie with Simon at 719.

Colts owner Jim Irsay's estimated fortune stayed steady at $1.4 billion, but the 52-year-old fell several spots to behind Simon and White, from the 721 spot to 913 this year.

The medical device company specializes in catheters and stints, so in the middle of our wealth envy, maybe we should give Mrs. Cook credit for improving the human condition. Otherwise, our list includes somebody who builds places we can shop at if we don't want to shop someplace else, someone who provides places for us to sleep at when we have to leave home, and someone who provides Sunday afternoon amusements. Again this year, not a humanitarian saint or sincere, dedicated editorial page editor in the lot.

Oh, and Bill Gates and Warren Buffet got knocked down to No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, for the third year in a row,  by Carlos Slim, the Mexocan telecom entrepreneur who got filthy rich privatizing something that shouldn't have been government-run in the first place.