Kevin McKenna: To re -establish the economy we need fewer billionaires – not anymore
A TERM already exists for the most predatory and ruthless of corporate profiteers: vulture capitalists. By using their existing resources, these firms and individuals roam the world looking business carrion that still has enough meat in its bones to pinch another financial waterfall before it turns to dust.
The distressed company, cut off by the banks, then fell prey to the vultures. All remaining assets, including employees and their families, were removed and disposed of. What’s left can be transferred for a profit, trading in the brand name that the hard work of innocent workers has helped generate.
In the Third World they buy the unredeemed debts of poor countries and they are even caught by replacing what may be a gradual and benevolent repayment regime with another heavier one. Their wealth gives them access to a core division of tax specialists who, using their privileged knowledge, can devise a safe route to any legal challenge.
It doesn’t matter if the entire debt can’t be repaid as simply owning it adds value to vast asset portfolios. The global banking system has just stepped aside and washed its hands. “The market, dear kap; we never dream of interfering. ”
Ang coronavirus the pandemic spawned a new class of capitalists who took a different waist to capitalism. Perhaps we can call it the capitalism of death, because out of pain it has been able to spin gold.
In April, Forbes magazine calculated that 2020/21 would deliver a record increase in new billionaires. Forbes reported that a record 493 people joined the World Billionaires list which, it said, means “the world, on average, has gotten a new billionaire every 17 hours since the billionaire’s wealth last took a snapshot in March 18, 2020 ”. Among these new billionaires are more than 40 who are directly enriched by the healthcare industry.
As the world desperately struggles to provide life -saving medicines, the medical care and equipment for the protection of an anointed group are allowed to take advantage of a disease. Just at the right time and having the right correlation of personal wealth and investment advice they found that the laws of capitalism gave them once a generation the opportunity to benefit directly from death.
Rishi Sunak, the UK Chancellor, was commended on the rapid move to support individuals and businesses with extensive furlough procedures. Rather less well known the chancellor has also allowed firms owned by some of the UK’s wealthiest private equity consortiums to be eligible for business support.
Open Democracy reported last year that emergency loans to the Bank of England had been granted to the likes of Rolls Royce (£ 300m); Airbus (£ 500m); Ryanair (£ 600m); easyJet (£ 600m) and British Airways (£ 300m). Immediately, each of these corporate behemoths announced a massive round of redundancies. Rolls Royce (3000 unemployment); Airbus (1700); Ryanair (3000 mandatory fee deductions); easyJet (1900); British Airways (10% redundancy scheme).
There are worthy proposals in support of Mr. Sunak, but not for a minute imagine that any sense of morality has been matched by the class of billionaire capitalism. In capitalism only one thing matters: earn more money and at any cost. The concept of attaching value to people is simply unthinkable, saving for their potential to be trapped.
Even the most ruthless critic of capitalism will be forced to put the two richest and most successful businessmen in Scotland, Sir Tom Hunter and Lord Willie Haughey, in the predator or death class of vultures. Both these men, who came from unpopular backgrounds amassed vast wealth through little effort and little ability. Along the way they seem to pay their taxes and treat their employees with respect and fairness.
Last week, however, they jointly advanced a bizarre and out-of-touch theory on the existence of billionaires in a world always disturbed by inequality: there is not enough of them.
The pair spoke at the entertaining Go last Sunday Radio business space. “More billionaires are better off as long as they create jobs and pay their taxes,” said his Lordship, the handicap man in the fridge. “The more the merrier.” Sir Tom agreed, adding that entrepreneurship and wealth creation “make the world go round”.
Both men, by their enormous wealth, enjoyed a direct route in all spheres of democratic government. They are given a seat at any table where ideas around economic development are discussed. However, each betrayed a simple and naive study of wealth and why it made me genuinely concerned that they were allowed to be anywhere near economic decision making.
The existence of billionaires is living proof that the world economic system is broken. That during a deadly pandemic a new class of surplus wealth is created indicates not only that the financial system is damaged but that it is intensively bad. In its simplest form it allows the gilded few to amass an extremely disproportionate amount of wealth and resources around the world on their own and to justify it by “paying our taxes and employing tao “.
It cares more about working a fight on the value of being honest, hardworking. This means we are content for billions of workers to be paid for their own skills and hard work producing wealth-creating goods and services. In a fair society the value of their work would be such that there are no billionaires. It will make their work more sovereign by protecting it from the predations of capitalist capitalists or equity fund managers who demand more circles of redundancies when a decimal point is shaved from the annual multi. -millions of revenue.
It will provide a level of human dignity by meeting the basic needs – housing, energy, health care and education – Free. This will give normal people with moderate incomes the opportunity to enjoy rest and recreation and make future plans with a level of security.
There’s money to make it happen, but to unlock it we need fewer billionaires, your Lordness; not yet. Where there is a billionaire so there are also many people who stand on the road.
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