USA: the rich getting richer


This video from the USA is called Headzup: Bush’s X-Mas Message For The Richest One Percent.

By Tom Mackaman:

“A nine-figure fortune won’t get you much mention these days”

Forbes publishes list of 400 richest Americans

16 October 2006

For the first time in the history of its compilation, the Forbes magazine list of the 400 richest Americans includes only individuals who hold a net worth estimated at over one billion dollars.

That personal wealth valued at one billion dollars has become rather humdrum in the US stands testament to the staggering accumulation of riches in the hands of the few.

As Forbes itself put it, “a nine-figure fortune won’t get you much mention these days, at least not here.”

The total combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans now stands at $1.25 trillion.

This figure has expanded by $120 billion in only one year.

The figure $1.25 trillion is practically unfathomable.

But to give some indication of its magnitude, consider that if it were divvied up among the entire US population of 300 million, every man, woman and child could be cut checks of well over $4,000.

Or contemplate that the net worth of the 400 wealthiest Americans now far surpasses the value of the entire Canadian economy, as measured by GDP, and is nearly twice the GDP of Australia.

Perhaps most strikingly, the personal wealth of the Forbes 400 now stands at over 10 percent of the total American GDP.

Where is all this money coming from?

For each individual, Forbes specifies a “source” for their enormous wealth.

Analysis demonstrates that although the US is generating obscene levels of personal wealth, few of the oligarchs owe their fortune to productive sectors of the economy.

In the entire Forbes 400 list, only 19 members are to be found in the category of “manufacturing.”

The richest of these—Eli Broad, who with $5.8 billion is number 42 on the list—in fact earned his fortune in real estate development and life insurance.

Eight in the category are inheritors of fortunes that were first built up decades earlier or even in the nineteenth century.

One specialized in the manufacture of “leisure craft.”

Another, H. Ty Warner—at $4.5 billion number 52 on the list—manufactured the “Beanie Baby” toy.

Two, Mitchell and Steven Rales—worth $2.6 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively—are in fact industrial raiders responsible for buying up and closing down factories.

Their original fortune, inherited from their father, was in real estate.

See also here.

Britain: rich get richer.

USA: the poor getting poorer.

1 thought on “USA: the rich getting richer

  1. Join Zed Books and Patrick Bond of South Africa’s Centre for Civil Society to launch
    Looting Africa:
    The Economics of Exploitation

    Wednesday, October 18, noon – 2pm, Room 116
    School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square

    Contact: Angelica Baschiera, Secretary, Centre of African Studies, 020 7637 2388

    Patrick Bond is Research Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Development Studies and Director of the Centre for Civil Society in Durban. Despite the rhetoric, the people of Sub-Saharan Africa are becoming poorer. From Tony Blair’s Africa Commission, the G7 finance ministers’ debt relief, the Live 8 concerts, the Make Poverty History campaign and the G8 Gleneagles promises, to the United Nations 2005 summit and the Hong Kong WTO meeting, Africa’s gains have been mainly limited to public relations.
    The central problems remain exploitative debt and financial relationships with the North, phantom aid, unfair trade, distorted investment, capital flight and the continent’s brain/skills drain. Moreover, capitalism in most African countries has witnessed the emergence of excessively powerful ruling elites. While noting their role as collaborators, this book contextualises Africa’s wealth outflow within a stagnant yet financially volatile world economy.

    A solid theoretical, empirical and analytical framework proving that the processes of looting the African continent, which started with the slave trade, have continued to this day. – Professor Issa Shivji, University of Dar es Salaam

    Patrick’s books on post-apartheid South Africa have been a beacon, and his latest is a brilliant analysis and timely expose of the rapacious forces ranged against Africans today. – John Pilger, author and film maker

    Also available:
    · TALK LEFT WALK RIGHT
    Patrick Bond (UKZN Press, 2006)
    · CCS WIRED
    (double DVD set) (CCS, 2006)
    http://www.ukzn.ac.za/ccs
    ———————————————————————————-THURSDAY 19 OCTOBER 2006 AT 6.30PM.

    FRIENDS OF AFRICA AND AFRICAN LIBERATION SUPPORT CAMPAIGN NETWORK (ALISC Network) INVITES ALL TO A DISCUSSION OF THE BOOK – LOOTING AFRICA .

    ROOM 211, SOAS (VERNON SQUARE BUILDING), VERNON SQ (JUNCTION OF KING’S CROSS ROAD AND PENTON RISE), LONDON WC1 [NEAREST STATION : KING’S CROSS].

    CONTACT : 07984405307 OR friendsofafrica_soas@yahoo.co.uk

    Like

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