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BREAKING NEWS NO 13

Friday 19 September 2014

In these Breaking News bulletins we link to other sites stories
specifically relevant to Democratic Republicanism

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Peter Kellow, DRP Leader, comments...

I often refer in DRP newsletters and on the website to the global financial super elite. This article sets out who a number of this elite are exactly, although there are others who are not billionaires.

There are still more in their service most obviously our heads of state in the west - Cameron, Obama and Hollande. All these will be well rewarded when their terms of political office is finished. Watch this space for that.

The mechanism for creating this elite is by creating new asset classes and then balloned the price of existing ones. This creates an ever increasing burden of assets that have to piggy back on the real productive economy.

It is a testimony to the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment of the participants in the productive economy that things keep going at all. But we need to wake up to the fact that the economy is tipped in favour of the mega-asset owners while the rest of us fall deeper and deeper into debt and work feudalism.

The great French economic historian Ferdinand Braudel described in his three volume work, Civilisation and Capitalism, how capitalism will always tend to revert to feudalism if not held in check. He was nowhere near being a Marxist. His view was based on a detailed observation of society according to his "annalist" method.

The great (but now ignored) English economist of the 19th century, Thorold Rogers, showed how wages and the general standard of living fell between the 15th century and his time.

The capitalist system is the system of our modern times. At its best it gives vent to the natural human inventive, creative spirit. OK, this spirit seeks monetary reward as well, as is its due, but to characterise capitalism as being driven only by selfishness, as our dominant Smithian libertarian economic model does, is to suffocate its benefits.

The Smithian libertarian economic model represents a profound misreading of human nature and human society. It creates a world where finance dominates and that is where we are now.

Don't be put of by the source of this article - WSWS. They are inclined sometimes to put a Marxist spin on things but not in this case.

We have to be thankful for independent sources like this, even if we do not agree with their bias.

The western press is completely bought by the said global elite and represents its interests in its reporting bias.


ECONOMICS

Wealth of world’s billionaires: $7.3 trillion.

Joseph Kishore

19 September 2014

The wealth of the world’s billionaires now stands at $7.3 trillion, an increase of 12 percent from last year, according to a new report released yesterday by Wealth-X and UBS. There are a record 2,325 billionaires in the world, up from 2,170 in 2013 and 1,360 in 2009, the first year following the financial collapse.

Billionaires make up .000033 percent of the world’s population, or to put in another way, there are about three million people for every one billionaire. Yet this exceedingly small social layer possesses about 4.5 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the population, or 3.5 billion people.

Some other comparisons help put these figures in perspective. The combined Gross Domestic Product (the total value of all goods and services produced in a single year) for Sierra Leone and Liberia, presently wracked by an Ebola epidemic that could kill tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, is just under $7 billion—one one-thousandth of the wealth of 2,325 individuals.

The city of Detroit, Michigan, where workers are seeing their pensions slashed and their water service shutoff as part of bankruptcy proceedings, has a budget deficit of some $330 million, which could be covered twenty thousand times over by the world’s billionaires.

The stock market and finance capital are the driving forces behind the wealth of the world’s billionaires. The top industry for billionaires, according to Wealth-X, is “finance, banking and investment,” which accounts for close to 20 percent of the total billionaire population, followed by industrial conglomerates at 12 percent and real estate at 7 percent. More than one in six billionaires reside in the financial capitals of New York, Moscow, Hong Kong and London.

Behind these figures lies a social relationship essential to the functioning of the capitalist system. The corporate and financial aristocracy has benefited from a massive redistribution of wealth, aided and abetted by the major capitalist states and central banks. It is not just that enormous wealth stands side by side with enormous poverty, but the one is the direct product of the other.

Read full story ......