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Posts Tagged ‘wealth’

World’s wealthiest people now richer than before the credit crunch

June 23, 2011 Comments off

guardian

High net worth individuals

Click here to see a pdf of this graphic

We are not all in this together. The UK economy is flat, the US is weak and the Greek debt crisis, according to some commentators, is threatening another Lehman Brothers-style meltdown. But a new report shows the world’s wealthiest people are getting more prosperous – and more numerous – by the day.

The globe’s richest have now recouped the losses they suffered after the 2008 banking crisis. They are richer than ever, and there are more of them – nearly 11 million – than before the recession struck.

In the world of the well-heeled, the rich are referred to as “high net worth individuals” (HNWIs) and defined as people who have more than $1m (£620,000) of free cash.

According to the annual world wealth report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, the wealth of HNWIs around the world reached $42.7tn (£26.5tn) in Read more…

Categories: Wealth Tags: , , ,

What kinds of societies create wealth? What kinds destroy it?

January 25, 2011 Comments off

There are some activities that are positive sum activities. That is, they are productive. They increase the total of real wealth in a society.

Bill Bonner

There are other activities that are zero sum activities…or even negative sum activities. War, for example. Excess legal wrangling. Paperwork. Too much time spent in schools. Too much support for the unemployed, the malingerers and the loafers. These things decrease the total of real wealth in a society.

Sometimes people are bright, honest and hardworking. Sometimes they are lazy, shiftless and cunning. They always prefer to get wealth and status by the easiest means possible. In some societies, the best way is by working hard. In others, it is by being clever…becoming a lawyer…a banker…or a government hack.

A new society…or a fresh economy (such as one that has just been flattened by war or hyperinflation)…or a new model for an economy…is generally a wealth-creating society.

A free society is also generally a wealth creating society. People do what they want. If they want wealth, they are free to create it.

But as societies (or economies) age, they become Read more…

Word of the week “Plutocracy”

January 19, 2011 Comments off

Definition of PLUTOCRACY

1
: government by the wealthy
2
: a controlling class of the wealthy

Examples of PLUTOCRACY

  1. If only the wealthy can afford to run for public office, are we more a plutocracy than a democracy?
  2. corporate greed and America’s growing plutocracy

The term “plutocracy” is formally defined as government by the wealthy, and is also sometimes used to refer to a wealthy class that controls a government, often from behind the scenes. More generally, a plutocracy is any form of government in which the wealthy exercise the preponderance of political power, whether directly or indirectly.Plutocracy may also have social and cultural aspects. Thus, in Democracy for the Few political scientist Michael Parenti is led to comment “American capitalism represents more than just an economic system; it is an entire cultural and social order, a plutocracy, a system of rule that is mostly by and for the rich. Most universities and colleges, publishing houses, mass circulation magazines, newspapers, television and radio stations, professional sports teams, foundations, churches, private museums, charity organizations, and hospitals are organized as corporations, ruled by boards of trustees (or directors or regents) composed overwhelmingly of affluent businesspeople. These boards exercise final judgment over all institutional matters.”The question of whether or not the United States could be said to be a plutocracy is discussed at length in Who Rules America, by sociologist G. William Domhoff. There Domhoff remarks: “The idea that a relatively fixed group of privileged people might shape the economy and government for their own benefit goes against the American grain. Nevertheless . . . the owners and top-level managers in large income-producing properties are far and away the dominant power figures in the United States. Their corporations, banks, and agribusinesses come together as a corporate community that dominates the federal government in Washington. Their real estate, construction, and land development companies form growth coalitions that dominate most local governments.” In the US, plutocratic governance is abetted by mass media owned by the hyperwealthy and operated in their own economic self-interest, the failure to provide public financing to political candidates, poor oversight of the electoral process, elitist Supreme Court appointments, the organization of wealth into socially-irresponsible corporations, the collapse of meaningful regulatory regimes, plutocratically financed “think tanks” (propaganda distribution centers), and an impoverished educational system that has failed utterly to provide Americans with the elements of political literacy (all of which have their foundations in philosophy).