The Richest Country’s Empty Plates. 50 Million Hungry Americans – Global Research


18-12-19 06:46:00,

In July of 2013, Rose Aguilar wrote a wonderful article for al-Jazeera (1), in which she discussed the dire hunger crisis that envelops the US today. In her article, she brought back a memory of something I had long forgotten, an event that so outraged the American public that the government was temporarily forced to respond with more humane policies. That event was a 1968 CBS special hour-long documentary called Hunger in America, in which viewers literally watched a hospitalized child die of starvation. Nixon responded because the public outrage left him no choice, but Reagan quickly dismantled those improvements.

When Reagan came to power in 1980, there were 200 food banks in the US; today there are more than 40,000, all overwhelmed with demand and forced to ration their dispersals. Before 1980, one out of every 50 Americans was dependent on food stamps. Today, it is one out of four. Before Reagan, there were 10 million hungry Americans; today there are more than 50 million and increasing. A substantial part of the Great Transformation included not only tax cuts and other benefits for the wealthy, but a simultaneous massive reduction in budgets for social programs – in spite of the fact that Reagan and the secret government were creating the conditions that would desperately require those same social programs.

That 50 million hungry Americans today includes the 25% of all children in the US who go to sleep hungry every night. About 25% of the American population today cannot buy sufficient food to remain healthy, with most of these being hungry for at least three months during each year. It is so bad that many college students have resorted to what we call “dumpster-diving” – looking in garbage bins for edible food.

In 2013, America’s largest food bank in New York City delivered more than 35 million Kgs of food, and still 1.5 million of the city’s 8 million inhabitants are hungry. After that CBS documentary and prior to Reagan’s appearance, New York had almost no need for emergency food services, and had only 28 food agencies. Today that number is more than 1,000. The problem is so serious that many agencies fear that desperation for food will lead to increasing violence.

By contrast,

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‘Dangerous’: UK’s six richest people have as much wealth as poorest 13m, study shows, prompting outrage online


03-12-19 05:34:00,

New research showing that the six richest people in the UK control as much wealth as the poorest 13 million has prompted anger online, with the authors of the study branding the massive gap in fortunes as “dangerous.”

The study, conducted by the Equality Trust, reveals that the nation’s six billionaires who sit at the top of the wealth league have hoarded a combined fortune of £39.4 billion which is equal to the assets of around 13.2 million people in the UK.

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Dr Wanda Wyporska, the executive director of the Equality Trust claimed the report should “shock anyone who cares about the state of the UK,” and that such a huge gap between the very rich and the rest of the country is “dangerous.”

The UK’s extreme inequality is the story of Ferraris and food banks.

Some of those super rich include Indian brothers Gopichand and Srichand Hinduja who own a multitude of businesses including car firms and banks, and top the table with an estimated net worth of £12.8bn. Second on the list is Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman and chief executive of the chemicals company Ineos, who has amassed £9.2bn.

At the other end of the scale, the Equality Trust estimate that some 4m people in the UK live in poverty. Four million of these are said to be over 50 percent below the poverty line.

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The study has provoked impassioned responses on social media with many condemning the vast wealth inequality gap between a small collection of well-off families and the large number of the poorest in UK society.

One person tweeted that “It’s disgusting… Enterprise and wealth shouldn’t leave such a wretched underclass. It shames us all.” While another suggested that individuals that hoard such “absurd wealth while millions struggle, starve and die in poverty,” should be treated as criminals.

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France’s Richest People Have Seen Their Net Worth Rocket 35% This Year


03-07-19 07:02:00,

Despite the civil unrest in France to start the year, the country’s richest citizens still had a fantastic start to 2019, according to Bloomberg.

Amidst protesters taking to the streets to demand higher wages and better pensions, the 14 people from France on the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index added a combined $78 billion to their collective net worth since the beginning of 2019. That is an astounding 35% increase. The figures will likely serve as additional fuel for protests over income inequality in the country.

France’s pace was more than double China’s richest, who saw growth of 17% for the first six months of the year. The richest in the U.S. saw their wealth grow 15% during the first half the year.

Outside of France, the other highest returns came from Thailand at 33% and Singapore, who came in at 31%. The richest in Japan saw their wealth grow 24%. The only Nigerian on the list, Aliko Dangote, saw his wealth up 60% so far in 2019.

Specifically in France, luxury businessmen Bernard Arnault and Francois Pinault, combined with cosmetics heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyersedit combined to make up $53 billion of the growth. The demand for luxury goods from China has continued even though there has been uncertainty from the ongoing trade war. Arnault’s LVMH shares are up 45% this year, making the company the second best performer in France’s CAC 40 index. He joined Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as the only people that have fortunes of over $100 billion.

Thailand’s success was a result of Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, founder and chairman of TCC Group. Sirivadhanabhakdi’s net worth rose by $4 billion to $16.5 billion as shares of his company, listed in Singapore, were up 38%. 

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Richest getting richer: Wealth of world’s billionaires surges 20 percent in 2017


29-10-18 08:52:00,

A joint report by UBS and PWC showed that world’s billionaires’ wealth enjoyed its greatest-ever increase last year, hitting $8.9 trillion shared among 2,158 individuals.

“The past 30 years have seen far greater wealth creation than the Gilded Age” the report said. “That period bred generations of families in the US and Europe who went on to influence business, banking, politics, philanthropy and the arts for more than 100 years. With wealth set to pass from entrepreneurs to their heirs in the coming years, the 21st century multi-generational families are being created.”

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More than 40 of the 179 new billionaires created last year inherited their wealth, the report said. “A major wealth transition has begun. Over the past five years, the sum passed by deceased billionaires to beneficiaries has grown by an average of 17 percent each year, to reach $117 billion in 2017. In that year alone, 44 heirs inherited more than a billion dollars each.”

China’s ultra-wealthy were driving the trend, according to the study which found that the country was minting two new billionaires per week. Chinese super rich expanded their wealth, growing by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion.

“Over the last decade, Chinese billionaires have created some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, raised living standards. But this is just the beginning,” said Josef Stadler, Head of Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Global Wealth Management.

He added that “China’s vast population, technology innovation and productivity growth combined with government support, are providing unprecedented opportunities for individuals not only to build businesses but also to change people’s lives for the better.”

READ MORE: Richest 1% will own two-thirds of global wealth by 2030

The study found that the number of billionaires grew 9 percent to 2,158 in 2017, up from 1,979 in the previous year. It said women still represent a small portion of the total number of billionaires overall (11 percent) but their rise could indicate a steady shift in wealth creation.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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