Bakari's Reviews > Billionaires' Ball: Gluttony and Hubris in an Age of Epic Inequality

Billionaires' Ball by Linda McQuaig
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Jul 20, 12

bookshelves: left-politics, 2012-books-read

So far I've read about half of the first chapter (Amazon free download). This book gives an awesome picture of the economic 1%, and even the .01% in this country and how filthy rich individuals and families are in this country and the around the world. For example, one of the world's 1,011 billionaires John Paulson has a personal fortune of $12 billion. In 2010, Paulson's $4.9 billion income was more than 100,000 times the average US income.

This kind of billionaire wealth has essentially crated a two-teired economy in the world market, and it has devastating impact for 99%. This obscene levels of wealth should automatically beg the question: why does anyone or any family need with that amount of wealth? Just to be clear what a billion is, think about it this way: (the opening sentence of the book): "Image you are given one dollar every second. At that rate, after one minute, you would have sixty dollars. And after two days, you would be a millionaire—something beyond most people's wildest dreams. But how long would it take to become a billionaire? Well, at that rate, it would take almost 32 years"(!) So again, the question is, why does any one person or family need that much wealth? That kind of money can be spent in 10 or 12 lifetimes.

And lastly, the question we should also be asking is, how does such wealth disparity impact the world economy and the lives of working people? I'm hoping the authors of this book will address that question also.
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