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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 March 2013

Forbes Rich List exposes obscene inequality

Matt Gordon

The annual list of billionaires produced by Forbes Magazine has again seen records smashed by the world's hyper-rich.

There are now 1,426 billionaires in the world, 210 more than 2012, with a collective wealth of $5.4 trillion, up nearly a trillion dollars from last year.

At a time of global recession and austerity, this bunch of high-flyers seem to be beating the odds. 80% of the list saw their wealth increase during the course of 2012.

Scandalous

Despite youth unemployment in Spain now reaching 55% with desperation leading increasing numbers to suicide, Spanish billionaire and owner of Zara clothes chain Amancio Ortega has seen the biggest increase of all - an extra $19 billion on his fortune!

But some are still not happy - Saudi Arabian prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has lashed out at Forbes magazine which he says has robbed him of his rightful spot in the top ten.

It placed him at an unimpressive 26th in the world with a wealth of 'only' $20 billion.

In reality these figures are scandalous at a time when global poverty is on the rise and 80% of the world struggles on less than $10 a day, a stark contrast to the lavish lifestyles of this tiny elite.

World capitalism has been in crisis since 2008 and increasing concentrations of wealth at the top are not just an aberration but are one of the main problems the economy is faced with.

Wealth doesn't 'trickle-down' as we are told, but is instead sucked up and locked away, leaving everyone else worse off.

Waste

The latest figures show that between $21 trillion and $32 trillion has been stashed in offshore tax havens around the world by the super-rich, none of it being put to productive use. This is only a fraction of the cash hoard being held back by big business as a whole.

Instead of wasting it in the bank accounts of the super-rich, this money should be taxed, along with widespread nationalisation of the top multinationals, to release funds to create jobs, homes, infrastructure and prosperity for all - the 99% not the 1%.

Next time someone says that there is no money for schools, hospitals, public services or decent housing and that we all have to tighten our belts, direct them to a copy of Forbes Magazine.

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In The Socialist 7 March 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Scrap the bedroom tax

TUC must name the day for 24-hour strike

PCS calls national strike on Budget Day

Socialist Party Congress 2013

Forbes Rich List exposes obscene inequality

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Stop violence against women


International socialist news and analysis

Hugo Chavez dies but the struggle continues

Italy: Voters reject austerity


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Stop cuts and privatisation, to save our NHS!

Eastleigh: growing revulsion at main parties

Anti-cuts protester arrested for using right to free speech

Hull, Warrington, Bristol and Bradford


Socialist Party workplace news

Security workers on London Overground strike against 'slave conditions'

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party review

TV review: Britain on Benefits


 

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