Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich

Chrystia Freeland

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich

There has always been some gap between rich and poor, but it has never been wider - and now the rich are getting wealthier at such breakneck speed that the middle classes are being squeezed out. While the wealthiest 10% of Americans, for example, receive half the nation's income, the real money flows even higher up, in the top 0.1%. As a transglobal class of highly successful professionals, these self-made oligarchs often have more in common with one another than with their own countrymen. But how is this happening, and who are the people making it happen? 3.1 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Business, Finance & Law
Format Hardback
Pages 352
RRP
Date of Publication October 2012
ISBN 978-1846142529
Publisher Allen Lane
 

There has always been some gap between rich and poor, but it has never been wider - and now the rich are getting wealthier at such breakneck speed that the middle classes are being squeezed out. While the wealthiest 10% of Americans, for example, receive half the nation's income, the real money flows even higher up, in the top 0.1%. As a transglobal class of highly successful professionals, these self-made oligarchs often have more in common with one another than with their own countrymen. But how is this happening, and who are the people making it happen?

Reviews

The Observer

Ian Birrell

Although short of solutions, Freeland highlights the danger when a small, self-serving and self-satisfied group dominate public discourse, then seek a system tilted even more in their favour … Yet these super-elites are not evil people; they genuinely think what is good for them is good for the rest of society. The irony, as the author points out, is that a big intrusive state is often the plutocrat's best friend, whether it's a state capitalist regime such as China or the protectionist capitalism of the west.

04/11/2012

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The Sunday Times

John Arlidge

Like a lot of recent books about our economic woes, this one is stronger on the whos, hows and whys of the rise of the new global super-rich than it is on whether we should (or can) do anything to mitigate burgeoning inequality. The sleeve notes promise that Freeland asks “is there anything we can do about the chasm between the super-rich and everyone else?” She asks but doesn’t really answer the question. Indeed, at times, you feel that she rather enjoys the company of the rich people she writes about.

28/10/2012

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The Financial Times

Bill Emmott

It recounts, a tad uncritically, the plutocrats’ belief that they have made their money on merit, and so should be entitled to everything that it buys them. For there’s the nub: what sort of merit? The merit in many cases, as Freeland knows better than most from her previous excellent study of Russia’s oligarchs, Sale of the Century (2000), is to have been more ruthless and determined than others in grabbing cheap assets and establishing privileged, often monopoly positions, by fair means or foul.

09/11/2012

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The Independent

Hamish McRae

It would be good if she had explored more the reasons why the US the middle class have barely increased living standards for 30 years, and particularly why globalisation seems to increase differentials within countries but decrease them between countries. For it is not quite "the fall of everyone else" - as the hundreds of millions of the new middle-class in China, India and elsewhere bear testimony.

27/10/2012

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