Head, Mike: Australia’s billionaires celebrate a “wealth boom”

Mike Head

Australia’s billionaires celebrate a “wealth boom”‘, World Socialist Web Site, 29 May 2017

Useful analysis of this year’s Australian Financial Review (AFR) Rich 200 List. The article nicely captures the breathless style of John Stensholt’s original piece (which reads more like celebrity or entertainment reporting than business news), nails how the annual list provides evidence of the growing inequality in Australia (despite our ‘egalitarian values’), mentions international trends along similar lines, points out how much of the wealth derives from share portfolios and property prices while factories close and workers are laid off, and hints at rich list awareness of social unrest arising from these disparities.

The World Socialist Web Site is always worth a read, particularly as a corrective to the sort of ‘wealth barracking’ found in the Fin Review (particularly the glossy bits of that journal) and The Australian. Please explore also the resources under Honest History’s ‘Inequality‘ thumbnail and get onto the relevant chapters by Stuart Macintyre and Carmen Lawrence in The Honest History Book. Lawrence says this:

Are we really the nation of a “fair go” or are we kidding ourselves? In reality, it seems that our comforting and comfortable egalitarian myth, passed down to us in stories of brothers in the bush and mates in the trenches, is blinding us to the growing divide in our society and the need to do something about it (p. 195).

David Stephens

800px-Obscene_Wealth,_The_City_of_Sydney_(4055231284)The 2007 Rolls is worth approximately $A600 000 in 2017. A Sydney taxi licence costs about $A375 000 (Wikimedia Commons/Alex Proimos)

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