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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 July 2007

"A new gilded age of inequality"

LAST YEAR the world's richest people increased their wealth at the fastest rate in seven years. Business consultants to the world's rich - Merrill Lynch and Cap Gemini - revealed that the total wealth of the super-rich rose 11.4% to $37.2 trillion (£18.6 trillion) in 2006. This staggering sum may exceed $40 trillion by 2008.

The UK is now home to 17% of Europe's wealthiest individuals. Recently, the Sunday Times 'Rich List' revealed that Britain's biggest fortunes grew 20% over the last year. The wealth of the top 1,000 super-rich - including 68 billionaires - in Britain now stands at £360 billion. Gordon Brown's tax breaks mean that 85% of these individuals pay no taxes on their super-stash.

Princeton University economist Paul Krugman estimates that the incomes of the US working class and middle class have hardly risen in the last 25 years whereas incomes of the rich have gone up by 150%. A similar widening of the wealth gap can be seen in the UK.

Krugman comments: "If you look at the distribution of income, at least pre-tax, it is the same as it was in the 1920s, and the 1920s looked the same as pre-World War One - so we are in a new gilded age of inequality."

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In The Socialist 5 July 2007:

Brown's government for the rich

Blair's toadying surpasses all clichés


National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards' Network conference: Join the fightback against the bosses' offensive


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Campaign for a New Workers' Party: Giving workers a voice

Lively CNWP meeting in Cardiff

Sign up to the CNWP campaign


What we think

Unite against war, poverty and terrorism


Postal workers strike

Postal workers: we're striking to win

Postal workers' strike gets solid support across the country


Socialist Party news and analysis

Under several feet of flood water - after flood defence budget cut

"A new gilded age of inequality"

Stop subsidising private schools

Surplus cash yet cutbacks continue


International socialist news and analysis

Why the United Nations fails the test of internationalism

Iran: Riots over petrol rationing

Climate change: socialist international planning needed

George Bush - a get out of jail ticket

Pakistan: Union activist has suspension withdrawn following protests


Tales from the council chamber

Tales from the council chamber

'Living in a parallel universe'


Socialist Party workplace news

UNISON delegates challenge leadership

Victory over bullying management

RMT conference: Fighting a thousand cuts

Not so nice Mr Branson


Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007


Socialist Party review

Two plays reviewed by Mark Baker: 'Philistines' and 'The Last Confession'


 

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