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1. WORLD INEQUALITY - UPDATED OCT. 2007
WORLD'S 6 RICHEST MEN - 2002 (AskMen.com, 8/9/02)
1 - Bill Gates, U.S.A., Microsoft Chairman - $60 billion
2 - Lawrence J. Ellison, U.S.A., Oracle CEO - $55 billion
3 - King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Alsaud, Saudi Arabia - $30 billion
4 - Warren Buffet, U.S.A., investor - $28 billion
5 - Paul Allen, U.S.A., Microsoft co-founder - $ 25 billion
6 - Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates - $23 billion
6 men - total wealth: $221 billion
11 SELECTED NATIONS - THEIR GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCTS (The World Almanac & Book
Of Facts 2002)
Afghanistan (26.8 million people) - $21.0 billion
Albania ( 3.5 ) - 5.6
Cambodia (12.5 ) - 8.2
Congo (53.6 ) - 35.7
Haiti ( 7.0 ) - 9.2
Mali (11.0 ) - 8.5
Mozambique (19.4 ) - 18.7
Nicaragua ( 4.9 ) - 12.5
Sudan (36.1 ) - 32.6
Tanzania (36.2 ) - 23.3
Yemen (18.1 ) - 12.7
11 Nations - 229.1 Million People - $ 188 billion Total Wealth
THE WORLD - 1996 (N.Y. Times Magazine, 9/29/96, 111)
358 billionaires control assets greater than the combined national incomes of countries with 45% of the world's population.
THE WORLD - 1998 (N.Y. Times, 9/27/98, Section 4, 16)
3 richest people in the world have assets exceeding combined GDP of the 48 least developed nations.
THE WORLD - Late 1990's (Witness For Peace Newsletter, Summer/Fall 1999)
Estimated 1.3 billion people live on less than $1 a day.
THE WORLD - 2001 (N.Y. Times, 11/8/01, A12)
Half of world lives on $2 a day or less.
2 SEVERANCE PACKAGES - 2001 (N.Y. Times, 4/10/02, C6)
Jacques E. Nasser, CEO Ford Motor Co. - $23 million (Ford lost $5.5 billion in 2001)
- 2001 (N.Y. Times, 5/30/02, A1)
Charles L. Watson, Dynergy - $40 million
INDIA - 1997 (N.Y. Times, 8/14/97, A11)
70% of population has no access to toilets
30% of population has no supply of safe water
33% of school-age children have never been to school
SOME CHIEF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION - 2001 (N.Y. Times, 4/7/02, Section 3,
John T. Chambers Cisco Systems $154.3 million
Gerald M. Levin AOL TimeWarner 147.6
Richard D. Fairbank Capital One Financial 99.7
Edward E. Whitacre Jr. SBC Communications 88.9
William T. Esrey Sprint 82.4
L. Dennis Kozlowski Tyco International 80.3
Douglas N. Daft Coca-Cola 74.2
THE WORLD - 1998 (N.Y. Times Magazine, 12/2/01)
1960's: Richest 20% of world's
population had total income 30 times poorest 20%
1998: Richest 20% of world's population had total income 74 times poorest 20%
BRAZIL - 1995 (N.Y. Times, 12/24/95, Section 4,
Top 10% of population: 50% of income
Bottom 10% of population: Under 1% of income
U.S.A. - CORPORATE KINGS & WORKER PEASANTS - 2001 (N.Y. Times, 6/24/02,17)
Pay of average top Chief Executive vs. average worker:
1985: $ 1,083,000 vs. $15,553 (70x)
2001: $10,457,800 vs. $24,466 (410x)
U.S.A. - CORPORATE KINGS & WORKER PEASANTS - 2001 (Time, 6/17/02, 52)
1980: Average CEO: 40x pay of average factory worker
2000: Average CEO: 531x pay of average factory worker
U.S.A. - 1996 (N.Y. Times, 2/28/99,
Section 3, 4)
The top 1/10th of 1% of households: 18% of all reported household income
CALIFORNIA - 2000 (N.Y. Times, 5/12/02, Section 1, 14)
1980: Top 5% of taxpayers: 22% of total personal income
2000: Top 5% of taxpayers: 42% of total personal income
NEW YORK CITY - 2001 (N.Y. Times, 4/27/02, A17)
The top 13,400 tax filers in New York City had a combined income greater than that of the bottom 2.1 million
COLUMBIA - 2000 (Liberation, 10/02) (Published by the Communist Party of India)
Richest 20%: 61.5% of income
Poorest 20%: 2.4% of income
5 financial groups control 92% of assets in financial sector
1.3% of landowners possess 48% of land
1991: Richest 10%: 52.1x income of poorest 10%
1999: Richest 10%: 80 x income of poorest 10%
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2000 (N.Y. Times Book Review, 2/1/04, 22)
Income share of the richest 1/100th of 1% of Americans:
1970: 1% (100x national average)
2000: 5% (560x national average)
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2000 (Time, 2/2/04, 42)
To match the pay of the top 400 American earners, it took the total income of
the following number of average retail clerks:
THE WORLD - 2004 ("The Pentagon and Climate Change", Monthly Review, May 2004, monthlyreview.org/0504editors.htm)
World population with no access to:
Clean water - 1 billion
Electricity - 2 billion
Sanitation - 2.5 billion
2004 BUSH TAX CUTS ("Dooh Nibor Economics", Paul Krugman, N.Y. Times, 6/1/04, A19)
"In fact, the 257,000 taxpayers with incomes of more than $1 million received a
bigger combined tax cut than the 85 million
taxpayers who make up the bottom 60 percent of the population."
["Dooh Nibor" is "Robin Hood" backward.]
BRAZIL - 2004 ("Poor Man's Burden", Larry Bearak, N.Y. Times Magazine, 6/27/04, 34)
1.7% of the landowners own almost 50% of the arable land.
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2004 ("American Psyche", Thomas Frank, N.Y. Times Book Review, 11/28/04, 22)
Wages for average American 1981-2004: Up
Compensation for top 10 CEO's 1981-2004: Up 4,300%
Figures not adjusted for inflation. (I.e., average wages actually fell.)
INDIA AND CHINA - 2005 ("Economic Scene", Alan B. Krueger, N.Y. Times, 2/3/05, C2)
Persons living on less than $2.00 a day:
China - 590 million
India - 830 million
BUSH TAX CUTS - 2004 - ("Richest Are Leaving Even the Rich Far Behind", Geraldine Fabrikant, N.Y.Times, 6/5/05, Sec. 1, 27)
1) "Under the Bush tax cuts, the 400 taxpayers with the highest incomes-- a
minimum of $87 million in 2000, the last year for
which the government will release such data-- now pay income, Medicare and Social Security taxes amounting to virtually
the same percentage of their income as people making $50,000 to $75,000."
2) "Those earning more than $10 million a year now pay a lesser share of their income in these taxes than those making
$100,000 to $200,000."
3) "...an Internal Revenue Service study found that the only taxpayers whose share of taxes declined in 2001 and 2002 were
those in the top 0.1 percent [$1.6 million or more a year]."
THE WORLD - 2005 ("Capitalism's future on trial", Jeremy Rifkin, 7/10/05,
Sustainability]/ins_headlines.rxml?cust=2&id=1275 [originally in The Guardian])
1) Earth's 356 richest families have wealth exceeding annual income of 40% of
the human race.
2) 67% of the human race has never made a phone call.
NEW YORK CITY - 2005 ("In Manhattan, Poor Make 2c For Each Dollar To The Rich", Sam Roberts, N.Y. Times, 9/4/05, Sec. 1, 33)
Annual earnings, top 20% in Manhattan -
Annual earnings, bottom 20% in Manhattan - $ 7,047
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2005 ("Don't Blink. You'll Miss the 258th-Richest
American.", Nina Munk,
N.Y. Times, 9/25/05, Sec. 3, 3)
1985 - Forbes 400 worth $ 238 billion (inflation-adjusted)
2005 - Forbes 400 worth $1.130 trillion (surpasses combined GDP of Switzerland, Poland, Norway and Greece)
Recent purchases by Forbes 400 members:
Rupert Murdoch ($ 6.7 billion) - $ 44 million (cash) for 5th Avenue penthouse
Steven Cohen ($ 2.5 billion) - $ 52 million for Jackson Pollock painting
Larry J. Ellison ($17.0 billion) - $300 million for yacht
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2005 - THE REWARDS OF FAILURE ("America's Laziest Man?",
Kristof, N.Y. Times, 11/7/06, A23)
Barry Diller, America's top-earning Chief Executive in 2005, made $469 million,
$295 million from
IAC/Interactive, the main company he runs. Take equalled 9.8% of company's profits.(Typically,
American Chief Executives take home 0.2% of company earnings.)
IAC/Interactive stock was down 7.7% in 2005.
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2006 ("Another Marie Antoinette Moment", N.Y. Times Editorial, 1/2/06, A12)
David Brooks, Chief Executive, DHB Industries Inc. (makes bulletproof vests)
2001 earnings - $ 525,000
2004 earnings - $256,000,000
18,000 of his vests recalled by U.S. military, including from Iraq.
Material in some DHB body armor failed federal safety test.
Threw $10 million party for his daughter and her friends.
UPDATE!! On October 25, 2007, David Brooks was arrested and indicted by the
Federal Government on charges of
securities fraud, insider trading, obstruction of justice and tax evasion. He is accused of looting his own company and
investors of almost $200 million. But perhaps he was reasonably desperate-- his 2004 earnings are now listed at only
around $189 million, and he needed the money for the necessities of life, such as a $101,190 belt buckle "studded with
diamonds, rubies and sapphires". ("The $101,000 Belt Buckle", Robert E. Kessler, Newsday, 10/26/07, A7)
THE WORLD - 2006 - TOP ALCOHOL/TOBACCO FORTUNES (Associated Press, 3/9/06)
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, 51, Netherlands, Heineken - $5.0
Julio Mario Santo Domingo, 82, Columbia, beer/diversified - $4.5 billion
Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, 61, Thailand, alcohol - $3.2 billion
Edgar Bronfman Sr., 76, U.S.A., liquor - $3.0 billion
Charles Bronfman, 74, Canada, liquor - $2.7 billion
Maria Asuncion Aramburuzabala (& family), 42, Mexico, beer - $2.0 billion
Rachman Halim (& family), 58, Indonesia, tobacco - $1.9 billion
R. Budi Hartono, 65, Indonesia, tobacco - $1.8 billion
Marcel Herman Telles, 56, Brazil, beer - $1.5 billion
Carlos Alberto Sicupira, 58, Brazil, beer - $1.3 billion
Brad Kelly, 49, U.S.A., tobacco - $1.3 billion
Ernest Gallo, 97, U.S.A., wine - $1.2 billion
Harvey Chaplin (& family), 77, U.S.A., liquor, wine distribution - $1.2 billion
THE WORLD - 2006 - TOP CANDY/CHOCOLATE/CHEWING GUM FORTUNES (Associated Press, 3/9/06)
Forrest Mars Jr., 74, U.S.A., candy
- $10.0 billion
John Mars, 69, U.S.A., candy - $10.0 billion
Jacqueline Mars, 66, U.S.A., candy - $10.0 billion
Michele Ferrero (& family), 79, Italy, chocolate - $10.0 billion
Shin Kyuk-Ho (& family), 83, South Korea, candy - $ 4.5 billion
William Wrigley Jr., 42, U.S.A., chewing gum - $ 3.0 billion
Axel Oberwelland, 39, Germany, candy - $ 2.4 billion
Hans Riegel, 83, Germany, candy - $ 1.4 billion
Paul Riegel, 79, Germany, candy - $ 1.4 billion
CHINA - 2006 ("China's 'Justice' System", Nicholas D. Kristof, N.Y. Times, 6/18/04, Sec. 4, 13)
1% of population controls 60% of wealth.
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2006 - THE REWARDS OF FAILURE ("You Can Complain, or You
Can Make Money",
Ben Stein, N.Y. Times, 10/15/06, Sec. 3, 3)
Tom Freston, Chief Executive of Viacom, fired by Chairman Sumner Redstone for
poor stock performance, received:
estimated $60 million severance package (in addition to estimated $20 million pay).
And additionally: Freston later sued New York City because it wouldn't pay
for his son's private school education.
(New York City refused, contending its public schools could effectively educate Freston's "learning-disabled" son. As
of October 2007 the case was before the U.S. Supreme Court. This kind of grinning, daring, "in your face" mega-greed
is characteristic of many Capitalist supermen.) (Also, The Associated Press put his severance package at $85 million.)
("Court eyes rich kid's tuition aid", AP,
N. Y. Post, 10/1/07, 18)
FLASH! Freston won! Perhaps the Supreme Court took pity on him, since as of
10/11/07 AP revised his severance down
to $75 million. ("Ed. Dept. loses rich-kid case", AP, N.Y. Post, 10/11/07, 5)
FLASH 2!! The N.Y. Post reports that "Freston's son was already enrolled in
private school when he was diagnosed with learning
disabilities." and that furthermore "The family apparently never had any intention of sending him to public school." But it's worse than
that, potentially much worse. Since the Supreme Court backed him with a 4-4 split decision the ruling doesn't become legal
precedent. But if it ever rules in a similar case by a majority it is technically possible that America's public schools will be liable for
paying for the private school education of an enormous number of the children of America's rich. Theoretically, because one
$80 million ($85 million/$75 million) hypergreedy Capitalist superman/failure didn't want to pay for a private school education
he could have afforded 1,000's of times over, the nation's public school system could be bankrupted. But when did his kind
ever care about something like that? ("Special-Ed Rip-Off", N.Y. Post Editorial, 10/11/07, 38)
THE WORLD - 2006 ("Toilets Underused to Fight Disease, U.N. Study Finds", Celia W. Dugger, N.Y. Times, 11/10/06, A6)
Humans without toilets
- 2.6 billion
Humans whose water sources are contaminated by human and animal waste - 1.0 billion plus
Annual death toll of children from diseases caused by above conditions - 2.0 million plus
Annual cost to provide latrines and safe drinking water to all lacking them -$20.0 billion (est.)
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2006 ("Bonanza On Wall Street", no author, N.Y. Times, Sec. 4, 11/26/06, 2)
Average weekly pay, financial sector jobs, Manhattan, 2003 - $5,300 (approx.)
Average weekly pay, financial sector jobs, Manhattan, 2006 - $8,323
THE WORLD - 2006 ("Richest 2% hold half the world's assets", Chris Giles, 12/5/06, ft.[Financial Times]com/cms/s/)
Richest 2% of adults hold over 50% of world's assets.
Poorest 50% of adults hold 1% of world's assets.
THE WORLD - 2006 ("Not Everyone Is Grateful as Investors Build Free Apartments
in Mumbai Slums",
Anand Giridharadas, N.Y. Times, 12/15/06, C8)
Slum dwellers worldwide - 933 million (U.N. est.)
ESTIMATED YEAR-END WALL STREET BONUSES - 2006 ("That Charter Jet Is Available,
But How Good Is
the Pilot?", Joe Sharkey, N.Y. Times, 1/9/07, C8)
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2006 ("Why Do the Richest People Rarely Intend to Give
It All Away?",
Austan Goolsbee, N.Y. Times, 3/1/07, C3)
The 60 richest Americans worth about $568 billion in 2005
The 60 richest Americans worth about $630 billion in 2006
[GDP of Iran, population 65 million, 2005 - $562 billion (The World Almanac And Book Of Facts, 2007)]
Contributions to charity in 2006 by the 60 richest Americans - a little over $7 billion (not including Warren Buffett's)
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2006 - THE REWARDS OF FAILURE ("Has the Exit Sign Ever
Looked So Good?",
Eric Dash, N.Y. Times, Sec. 3, 4/8/07, 6)
Total exit packages for 35 Chief Executives fired from Fortune 1000 companies
in 2006: Over $799 million
Some specific awards: Martin G. McGuinn, Mellon Financial: $ 63.8 million
Jay S. Sidhu, Sovereign Bancorp: $ 73.5 million
Hank McKinnell, Pfizer: $198.8 million
(Also, after being fired on the first workday in 2007:
Robert L. Nardelli, Home Depot: $210.0 million)
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2006 ("Make Less Than $240 Million? You're Off Top Hedge
Fund List", Jenny
Anderson & Julie Creswell, N.Y. Times, 4/24/07, A1)
Earnings of the top American hedge fund managers in 2006:
James Simons - $1.7 billion
Kenneth Griffin - $1.4 billion
Edward S. Lampert - $1.3 billion
The top 25 hedge fund managers made about 3 times more than New York City's 80,000 public school teachers.
THE WORLD - 2007 ("The $10 Solution", Jeffrey D. Sachs, Time, 1/15/07, 65)
Annual death toll of African children from malaria: About 2 million
Estimated annual cost for a comprehensive anti-malaria program for Africa: About $3 billion
THE 6 RICHEST AMERICANS OF ALL TIME (ADJUSTED) ("The Richest of the Rich, Proud
of a New
Gilded Age", Louis Uchitelle, N.Y. Times,
7/15/07, Sec. 1, 20)
John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), Oil -
$192 billion (his wealth equalled 1.6% of U.S. economy in 1918)
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877), Steamboats/Railroads - $143 billion
John Jacob Astor (1763-1848), Fur/Real Estate - $116 billion
Stephen Girard (1750-1831), Shipping/Banking - $ 83 billion
Bill Gates (1955-Present), Software - $ 82 billion
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), Steel - $ 75 billion
MICHAEL HIRTENSTEIN, 44 - A PORTRAIT - OF HIM - AND HIS NEW APARTMENT- WITH SOME
OF HIS QUOTES
("Fantasy land", Katherine Dykstra, N.Y. Post, 8/2/07, 47)
Described by Post as "....self-described entrepreneur and real estate
Owns 8 homes, plus 2 Hamptons plots for later development.
Latest home: $30 million dollar Manhattan duplex apartment, combining 3-1/2 previous units.
Includes swimming pool, imbedded in 7th floor.
"I really love the view to the north and I said, 'Why don't I just buy the whole floor?' "
Outside of giant closet wrapped in 30-40 foot strips of leather.
"I'm a Pisces; I'm always in the water."
Video screen imbedded in pool bottom.
"Because it's fun, because it's never been done before...why can't we do it at the bottom of the pool?"
Over $1 million for lighting. (Over 473 fixtures indoors, plus outside fixtures.)
$80,000 103-inch TV.
"And I don't even cook! I eat out every night."
Plans to add 20-by-20 foot screen at the end of the pool.
THE WORLD - 2007 ("Grass Roots Rising", Robert Sullivan, N.Y. Times Book Review, 8/5/07, 19)
World's top 200 companies have 2x the assets of 80% of world population.
CHINA - 2007 ("The Man to See", Simon Elegant, Time, 10/15/07, 49)
China's 3,000 richest entrepreneurs are overwhelmingly the "children of
high-ranking officials who use their connections
to gain favorable business deals."
THE RICHEST AMERICANS - 2007 ("Malefactors of Megawealth", David M. Kennedy, N.Y. Times Book Review, 10/21/07, 13)
The wealthiest 1/100th of 1% of Americans 700% richer than 30 years ago.
The income for most American households, inflation-adjusted, has hardly risen in 30 years.
THE ESSENCE OF CONTEMPORARY INEQUALITY: UNLIKE THE REST OF US, CAPITALIST SUPERMEN MUST BE REWARDED FOR FAILURE AS WELL AS SUCCESS - 2007 ("Merrill Chooses Insider To Lead Search for Chief", Landon Thomas Jr., N.Y. Times, 10/31/07, C1)
Selected Wall Street chieftains - their companies - their fiscal 2006 compensations - their companies' stock returns 12/31/05-10/30/07:
E. Stanley O'Neal - Merrill Lynch - $ 46.4 million - -0.7%
James E. Cayne - Bear Stearns - $ 40.0 million - -0.7%
Richard S. Fuld Jr.- Lehman Bros.- $ 28.2 million - -3.0%
Charles O. Prince - Citigroup - $ 24.9 million - -6.8%
THE ESSENCE OF CONTEMPORARY INEQUALITY 2: A CLOSER LOOK AT MERRILL LYNCH'S E. STANLY O'NEAL - 2007 ("Merrill Chooses Insider To Lead Search for Chief", Landon Thomas Jr., N.Y. Times, 10/31/07, C1; "Cue The Stan-In", Roddy Boyd & Zachery Kouwe, N.Y. Post, 10/31/07, 33; "O'Neal walks away with $ 162M", Paul Tharp, N.Y. Post, 10/31/07, 33)
- E. Stanley O'Neal, former Chief Executive of Merrill Lynch
- Merrill 3rd quarter 2007 loss: $ 2.23 billion
- Merrill write-down for collateralized debt obligations: $ 8.4 billion
- O'Neal made unauthorized merger approach to rival bank Wachovia
- For total failure, plus insubordination, O'Neal received an enormous reward:
Not fired, but allowed to "retire"
$ 131.4 million in unvested stock, unexercised options, and other equity
$ 27.4 million pension
$ 5.4 million in "deferred pay"
A New York office and Executive Assistant for up to 3 years
Health insurance for O'Neal and family
Merrill picks up the complete legal costs for negotiating the above settlement
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