Tag Archives | Rich People

The United States’ Capitals Of Inequality

inequalityPueblo Lands on the areas of the U.S. pushing economic disparities to new extremes:

Welcome to the San Francisco Bay Area. The epicenter of the tech industry. The global vortex of venture capital. One of the most brutally unequal places in America, indeed the world.

In the distribution of income and wealth, California more resembles the neocolonial territories of rapacious resource extraction than it does Western Europe. The only states that compare to California’s harsh inequalities are deep southern states structured by centuries of racist fortune building by pseudo-aristocratic ruling classes, and the East Coast capitals of the financial sector.

It’s a strange club, the super-inequitable states of the U.S. This list pairs the bluest coastal enclaves of liberal power with the reddest Southern conservative states. In terms of wages and wealth these places have a lot in common.

The economies of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama remain bound by racial inequalities founded in slavery and plantation agriculture; the wealthy elite of all three states remain a handful of white families who control the largest holdings of fertile land, and own the extractive mineral and timber industries, and the regional banks.

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Australian Billionaire Orders 117 Animatronic Dinosaurs For Jurassic Park-Style Resort

With so many very rich people in the world, why has it taken so long for someone to do this? Via the Australian:

Clive Palmer is a giant step closer to creating his own Jurassic Park after the eccentric billionaire put in an order for more than 100 mechanical dinosaurs.

The mining magnate, who is also building a replica Titanic, already has a tyrannosaurus rex called Jeff and an omeisaurus named Bones in his Palmer Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane.

Mr. Palmer said today he had ordered another 117 animatronic dinosaurs for the resort from central China. He said the new arrivals would include a 1200kg brachiosaurus and a 7m tall mamenchisaurus – both tall plant-eating reptiles.

The animals, which will be displayed in the woodlands around the resort, will sway their tails, heave their chests and blink, Mr. Palmer said.

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On The Lucrative Careers Of Former Politicians

The New York Times on what becomes of our leaders after leaving office: they are showered with wealth by the financial industry. Don’t pity Mitt Romney, as he is likely in for a massive payday in the near future. Likewise, consider this a preview of what is in store for Barack Obama, assuming he’s careful not to piss off Wall Street too badly:

Take Tony Blair, the former British prime minister. In September, Mr. Blair was called to Claridge’s hotel in London to mediate a renegotiation of the proposed acquisition of Xstrata by Glencore, according to British news reports. Mr. Blair, who negotiated peace in Northern Ireland, put his skills to good use, apparently earning himself roughly $1 million for three hours of work.

Remember Dan Quayle? Since 2000, the former vice president has worked at the hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management, where he is now chairman of the advisory board.

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Are We Headed Toward An Economy Based Around Serving Rich People?

Via Alternet, Sam Pizzigati ponders the jobs of the future, with masses clamoring for the opportunity to cater to the rich:

We’re well on the way to becoming a full-fledged “servant economy.” Most Americans no longer make things. They provide services.

Young people can become engineers and programmers and spend their careers in pitiless competition with people all over the world just as smart and trained but willing to work for much less. Or they can join the servant economy and “service those few at the top who have successfully joined the global elite.”

In this new “servant economy,” we’re not talking just nannies and chauffeurs. We’re talking, as journalist Camilla Long notes, “pilots, publicists, art dealers, and bodyguards” — a “newer, brighter phalanx of personal helpers.”

Want to see the world? In the new servant economy, you can become a “jewelry curator” and voyage to foreign lands to pick up gems for wealthy clients.

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African King Was Richest Man Ever

Mansa MusaIf you've never heard of Mansa Musa I of Mali, you should at least know that he was the world's richest man – ever! The top ten richest people in all of history are as follows: 1. Mansa Musa I, (Ruler of Malian Empire, 1280-1331) $400 billion 2. Rothschild Family (banking dynasty, 1740- ) $350 billion 3. John D Rockefeller (industrialist, 1839-1937) $340 billion 4. Andrew Carnegie (industrialist, 1835-1919) $310 billion 5. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (last Emperor of Russia, 1868-1918) $300 billion 6. Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII (last ruler of Hyderabad, 1886-1967) $236 billion 7. William the Conqueror (King of England, 1028-1087) $229.5 billion 8. Muammar Gaddafi (former Libyan leader, 1942-2011) $200 billion 9. Henry Ford (Ford Motor Company founder, 1863-1947) $199 billion 10. Cornelius Vanderbilt (industrialist, 1794-1877) $185 billion John Hall reports for the Independent:
When we think of the world’s all-time richest people, names like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and John D Rockefeller immediately come to mind...
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U.S. Income Inequality Worse Today Than During The Slavery Era

Historical perspective via the Huffington Post:

Believe it or not, income inequality in the United States is worse today than it was back in 1774. That’s what a recent report from the National Bureau of Economic Research has found.

In “American Incomes 1774 to 1860,” authors Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson argue that the American colonies were exceptionally egalitarian, compared to both other nations at the time and the U.S. today. And their data even factors in slavery.

NBER’s is not the first study to contend that income inequality today is worse than before. A 2009 study looking at data stretching back to 1917 found that American income inequality was at an all-time high. Likewise, two historians concluded last year that income inequality today is worse even than it was during the Roman Empire [when] the top 1 percent of Ancient Roman earners controlled 16 percent of the Empire’s riches, compared to the top 1 percent of American earners today who control 40 percent of the country’s wealth.

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World’s Richest Woman, A Mining Heiress, Says Poor People Need To Work Harder

Also they need to drink, socialize, and complain less, and accept lower wages. She has praised paying African miners two dollars per day as a model for Australia to follow. Last year, she made $2 million per hour. Via Mother Jones:

Australian Gina Rinehart, reportedly the world’s wealthiest woman, has a message for you poor people: “Don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself—spend less time drinking, or smoking and socializing and more time working.”

Pray, what does Rinehart do for a living? She is a “mining heiress.” Rinehart’s wealth is derived from a family trust and an executive position in a mining company she inherited from her father after his death in 1992. Since then, she’s kept very busy—pouring her wealth into conservative causes and political front groups she helped set up.

She recently tried to import cheap visa workers after unionized Australian miners asked for a competitive wage.

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Mississippi Hopes To Lure French Tax Exiles

Is the future of states such as Mississippi — which offers startlingly low life expectancy, sky high rates of poverty and disease, and minimal government regulation and protection — as laissez faire tax havens for rich expatriates? Via Yahoo! News:

France’s new Socialist leader President Francois Hollande plans to slap a tax of 75 percent on all income in excess of a million euros, and territories with lower rates are hoping for a cash exodus. Now the US state of Mississippi is making a bid to recruit wealthy exiles.

Haley Barbour [is the] former governor of Mississippi, a southern US state that was in part founded by French settlers on territory at one point controlled by the French empire. “I wonder if we Barbour boys ought to set up a business to attract wealthy Frenchmen and successful businesses from France to Mississippi,” he mused, in an article for the website of the US magazine Foreign Policy.

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The Rich Have Hidden $21 Trillion In Global Tax Havens

Wealth inequality between the super-rich and everyone else has been vastly underestimated, the Guardian reports:

The world’s super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.

James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system.

“These estimates reveal a staggering failure,” says John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. “Inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people.

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