Bill Gates's $35,000 House Tour a Sign of Economic Recovery?

Bill Gates: Just touring his house requires a second mortgage.
Stocks. Bonds. The Dow or GDP. If history has taught us anything in these last two years of financial tumult it's that economic indicators like these don't indicate for a damn.

For a real taste of how the economy is doing you have to consult the man himself: Bill Gates. Or better yet, his house.

As TechFlash reports, every fall Microsoft workers donate something for their fellow employees to bid on. Usually the priciest item is a tour of Gates's 66,000 sq. ft. Medina mansion from the man himself.

Last year, in the midst of financial upheaval, the winning bid was a modest $8,500. This year the bidding ended at an impressive $35,000.

Which means what, exactly?

That those record-setting unemployment numbers don't mean a thing? That a weak dollar is immaterial? That people will actually start buying all those condos on Jackson St.?

Uh, no. Actually, all it means is that there's only one economic indicator that is, and will remain, steady no matter how volatile the times: Microsoft's employees will continue to get so rich they'll have to find new and interesting ways to spend their money.

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