Friday, November 02, 2012

The Spoils

The share of national income going to the richest 1% of Americans has doubled since 1980, from 10% to 20%, roughly where it was a century ago. Even more striking, the share going to the top 0.01%—some 16,000 families with an average income of $24m—has quadrupled, from just over 1% to almost 5%. That is a bigger slice of the national pie than the top 0.01% received 100 years ago.

According to Forbes magazine’s rich list, America has some 421 billionaires, Russia 96, China 95 and India 48. The world’s richest man is a Mexican (Carlos Slim, worth some $69 billion). The world’s largest new house belongs to an Indian. Mukesh Ambani’s 27-storey skyscraper in Mumbai occupies 400,000 square feet, making it 1,300 times bigger than the average shack in the slums that surround it.

 America’s Gini for disposable income is up by almost 30% since 1980, to 0.39. Sweden’s is up by a quarter, to 0.24. China’s has risen by around 50% to 0.42 (and by some measures to 0.48).

Britain 36 billionaires worth 4% of GDP
Germany 55 billionaires worth 7.2% of GDP
Russia 96 billionares worth 18.6% of GDP
China 95 billionaires worth 2.6% of GDP
India 48 billionaires worth 10.9% of GDP
Brazil 37 billionaires worth 6.2% of GDP
USA 421 billionaires worth 10.5% of GDP


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