6. There are some wealthy Russians who hire fake ambulances to beat the city traffic. These ambulances have sofas and flat-screen TVs instead of medical equipment.
Rich Russians hire ambulance-taxis that cost about $200 an hour to beat the traffic in Moscow. Traffic snarls in the city are infamous and extremely bad. In 2011, the city officials attempted to double the size of the city’s streets to deal with it. The vehicles, although illegal, have been advertised on the Internet.
These “ambulances” are luxury vehicles on the inside, and it is much like a high-class limousine for its VIP passengers. They do not have medical supplies but facilities like TVs for their ultra-rich guests. These “ambulances” get on the streets, blaring their sirens which forces the other motorists to make way for them as they think that it is a medical emergency. In this way, the rich save time by traveling much faster than everyone else. This has led to many Russians not trusting an ambulance’s genuineness anymore. (1, 2)
7. The people who are not American citizens but wealthy enough can get a Green Card if they invest $1 million in the US economy and create at least ten jobs.
As per United States immigration law, there is an employment-based (EB) “preference immigrant” category. This category allows foreign nationals who have invested $1 million, or $500,000 in target areas or are in the process of doing so in a “commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy,” to get a Green Card. They have to create at least 10 full-time jobs to be eligible. Such foreign nationals are also called “EB-5 immigrant investors.” The investors don’t need to necessarily invest in new commercial enterprises like was the rule initially. They can invest in pre-existing commercial enterprises and regional centers as well.
Their spouses and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can also get permanent citizenship. The EB-5 program was created in 1990 for the benefit of the U.S. economy through job creation and investment by foreign investors. Each fiscal year, only 10,692 such applications can be approved. About 80% of the investors in this category come from four countries: China, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. The other 20% are from India, Iran, Canada, Mexico, etc. In 2014, 85% of the EB-5 visas were issued to Chinese nationals according to a survey by Savills Studley, a real-estate services firm. (1, 2)
8. Becoming a space tourist is a luxury that can be afforded by only the ultra-rich as each flight can cost between $20-40 million. Only seven space tourists have gone to space so far.
The concept of “space tourism” is to encourage space travel for recreation, leisure, or business purposes. There are many types of space tourism like orbital, lunar, suborbital, etc. Companies like Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic are working in the field of suborbital space tourism. From 2001 to 2009, Space Adventures brokered “space joy rides” in the range of $20-40 million aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
In these years, seven space tourists made eight space flights. The first three space tourists paid more than $20 million per day for their day 10-day trip to the International Space Station (ISS). In 2010, the program was halted as the crew size on the ISS increased.
However, that is going to change soon as Blue Origin, a company founded by Jeff Bezos, is working on the New Shepard reusable, suborbital, launch system to enable short trips to space for space tourists. Some test flights into space for 66 miles have been successfully completed. Another company, Virgin Galactic, sold 700 tickets for a price of $250,000 in 2015 for suborbital spaceflights, but their spaceplane, VSS Enterprise broke and the journey could not happen. They are working on their second space plane, VSS Unity. (source)
9. The super elite of the world have their own invite-only social network called “ASmallWorld.”
Described as the “Myspace for millionaires,” by the Wall Street Journal, “ASmallWorld” is a paid social network found in 2004, that has capped its membership to 250,000 people. In spring 2013, it was relaunched as a private, international, travel and social club that is peer-recommended. To join “ASmallWorld” one must receive an invitation from an existing member or from the governing board after a request for membership is filed.
It is active in more than 150 cities around the world and has hundreds of events every year. In 2013, it was the subject of controversy as it decreased its membership strength from 850,000 to 250,000, expelling members like Tiger Woods and Lindsay Lohan. In 2018, the social network introduced two membership levels, Signature, and Prestige. The annual membership for Signature is about 20,000 US dollars with an additional induction fee of 2,000 US dollars and is invite-only. The Prestige membership costs about 6000 US dollars annually. Signature members get a lot of benefits like 1,000,000 miles with Etihad Gold, Discovery Black status with Global Hotel Alliance etc. (1, 2)
10. Some super-rich Americans don’t need to go to the hospital or need health insurance. They have emergency rooms in their own homes.
Having an emergency room inside your own home can cost about one million US dollars. Some super-rich Americans can afford such luxury emergency rooms. Those who do not want an emergency room built in their homes and still don’t want to spend hours waiting, go for concierge emergency services that cost about 10,000 US dollars a year plus the fees for the treatment per visit.
Many wealthy people are choosing to forgo medical insurance and choosing to pay a monthly fee that totals up to 30,000 US dollars a year. This monthly fee entitles them to have access to physicians at any time and anywhere. This is called “concierge medicine.”
Hospitals in New York City are offering luxury hospital rooms that can cost about 1000 to 1500 US dollars per day. These rooms offer fine food, great views, fancy beds, butlers and other facilities. (1, 2)