Ever wondered what do the stinking rich do with all their money?
One indicator is the “cost of living extremely well index” — an annual survey of price trends for the stuff that only rich people can afford — produced by US business magazine Forbes.
Items include: Hospital VIP treatment, a Russian sable coat, thoroughbred racehorse, a Sikorski helicopter, a concert grand piano, a Rolls Royce Phantom, one kilo of top-notch caviar, a box at the opera, a year’s tuition at Harvard University.
Feeling green with envy? Or just feeling sick?
According to Forbes, the global number of billionaires rose to 1,226 in 2011, and their combined wealth went up to a record $4.6 trillion (£2.9 trillion), despite the impact of the economic crisis.
Despite the 50% tax bracket for top earners there are more of these people in the UK than there used to be. Why? Because all of them are “non-doms”. Unlike most other places in the world, such people don’t pay taxes on their overseas income.
The argument goes if they come here, spend their money… who cares? Except there no evidence that their spending “trickles” down income to the rest of us. Quite the contrary, inequality is getting worse.
We need to ditch the system which puts the making and selling of ephemeral stuff just for rich people above the daily life and untapped potential of all human beings.
It is time to invest a little in a socialist project.
If you do have some money to give to us — however little — we can continue publishing Solidarity as a weekly, improve our website and organise events such as our Ideas for Freedom summer school.
* Taking out a monthly standing order to the AWL. There is a form at www.workersliberty.org/resources and on this page. (Even a few pounds a month really does help.)
* Making a donation. You can send it to us at the address below (cheques payable to “AWL”) or do it online at www.workersliberty.org/donate.
* Organising a fundraising event.
* Taking copies of Solidarity to sell at your workplace, university/college or campaign group.
* Getting in touch to discuss joining the AWL.
For more information on any of the above, contact us: tel. 07796 690 874 / email@example.com / AWL, 20E Tower Workshops, 58 Riley Road, SE1 3DG.
Total raised so far: £9,973
We raised £186 this week from donations, new standing orders and a fundraising event. Thanks to Sheffield AWL, Rosie, Martin, James and Beth.