|Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal has 12,700,000,000 reasons to be cheerful|
The Sunday Times has published the 2012 edition of its annual Rich List, and revealed that the wealthiest thousand people in the UK saw their fortune grow by an estimated 5% since last year, as working class people around the world face an unprecedented assault on their own living standards. In many cases, this was a direct ‘reverse Robin Hood’ transfer of wealth to the absolute richest.
For the seventh year running, the list is topped by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal on £12,700m. Just £385m behind Mittal is Alisher Usmanov, boss of Russia’s biggest iron ore company. Compatriot and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich is in third, on £9,500m. Ironically, the top three bucked the general elite trend, with each seeing a decrease in their worth compared to 2010.
“Some of the biggest gains have been made by those who do not fall in the billionaire bracket, or even those with fortunes of over £750m. The wealth of individuals with between £330m and £750m has gone up 7.8 per cent this year, with those worth £328m to £151m seeing their fortunes grow by 9 per cent. That compares to a rise of just 2.5 per cent in the wealth of the richest 100.”
The Rich List is always a sickening affair, but as the contradictions in capitalist society become all the more horrific, the statistical breakdown is absolutely dizzying. Forget ‘the 1%’ of Occupy, just the wealth of this 0.0000161% of the UK population would be enough to make a huge improvement to our lives, were it to be equally distributed.
The total of £414 billion amassed by this ultra-parasitical layer would make a significant dent in the national debt of £1.3 trillion – the primary excuse for the government’s colossal spending cuts. Were just the increase since last year to be shared between the population of 62 million, it would still amount to £333 each – enough for a cheap holiday perhaps, or more likely one month’s food bill. If this top thousand were to be totally expropriated, the shakedown would net us £6,660 per person.
This needs to happen.