Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/941/25096
Them & Us
Nine-zero wealth v zero-hour want
The world has gained 233 new billionaires in the last year.
There are now 2,043 capitalists with ten or eleven-figure riches, according to Forbes. This is the highest in the wealth magazine's 31-year history of compiling the figures.
The billionaires on Forbes' latest list are worth a combined £6.2 trillion. That's more than twice the UK's annual 'gross domestic product'.
Meanwhile, the number of UK workers on zero-hour contracts for their main job is 905,000.
And these Office for National Statistics survey findings - for October to December 2016 - do not include workers on insufficient guaranteed hours.
Spare a thought, though, for BHS bandit Philip Green, Sports Direct zero-hour tyrant Mike Ashley and bigot-in-chief Donald Trump. All three have fallen to lower positions in the world billionaire rankings.
Super-rich inheritance v paupers' funerals
The global super-rich will transfer £3.1 trillion to their offspring by 2026.
This figure, from a 2016 report by market researchers Wealth-X, is equivalent to over one-twentieth of the planet's annual 'gross world product'.
Meanwhile, in London, the number of 'paupers' funerals' has more than doubled.
In 2007-10, councils buried 1,000 people whose families were not able to pay.
Between 2010 and 2013, it was 2,153, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Evening Standard.
House prices v wages
London house prices rose by £105 a day between 2011 and 2017. Meanwhile, says estate agent Savills, the average London salary rose by just 54p a day.
Even this wage-growth figure is distorted by the preponderance of super-salaries in the Square Mile.
Real wages for workers in the UK actually fell by 10.4% between 2007 and 2015, according to the Trade Union Congress.
Butler v British Library
The Rothschild family's financial holding company advertised in January for a new assistant head butler to help run its pantry.
How rich do you have to be that even your staff have servants? Well, Rothschild & Co apparently had a yearly revenue of £1.4 billion as of March 2016.
Meanwhile, the British Library was advertising for an event manager - with a doctorate - to organise celebrations for Karl Marx's 200th birthday.
The rate? The ad says "the library itself is not able to provide payment." What would Marx make of that? At least the butlers to the wealth managers of the super-rich are paid!
In The Socialist 22 March 2017:
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