Well, Forbes just put out the list of the world’s richest people. I think many people are fascinated by billionaires. How did they get so rich? What do they do to make so much money? Having been in politics and seeing how many these people get to be billionaires, I will say that in a lot of cases it’s because they know the right people, or they “paid” the right people, or they simply ripped people off.
A lot made their fortune honestly, but many did not. For example, most of the Russian billionaires got that way through their connections. They had many opponents eliminated along the way, or they were able to get a factory and sell it for peanuts to foreigners. A lot of dirty dealings went on there. IN fact, some are fugitives from Russian justice.
In the U.S. many made it through leveraged buy outs, breaking up companies and destroying them. Or, they were involved in the derivatives bubble which is mostly responsible for the current economic crisis. The bottom line is they destroyed the living standards of many Americans while becoming billionaires.
Glancing through the article and seeing some familiar faces who I remember from years back, it reminds me that there is a wealth transfer going on in the world. Wealth, or actually money, is being shifted from the middle and lower classes to the very small upper-upper class. As you’ll read in the article that there are more billionaires holding more wealth than at any time in history.
It’s all happening while the country is in the worst recession since the depression (I say it’s in a depression but it’s not politically correct to say that). Anyway, while you’re reading the article, keep this in mind that we really need a change in policy. It this were the Roosevelt administration and we were back on the American System, some of these billionaires would be in jail, particularly the ones who made their money in hedge funds.
“This year’s list broke records in size (1,210 billionaires) and total net worth ($4.5 trillion). China doubled its number of 10-figure fortunes, and Moscow now has more billionaires than any other city.”