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HomeSociety and CultureBooksThe Trouble with Billionaires: How the Super-Rich Hijacked the World
Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks

The Trouble with Billionaires: How the Super-Rich Hijacked the World


At a time when the government is making sweeping cuts in the name of austerity, this book provides a compelling analysis of society´s perception of wealth, worth and equality.

Challenging the past 20 years of monetarism and neo-liberal economics, and rejecting an individualistic approach to society, the authors construct a forceful argument for progressive taxation as a vehicle for the betterment of society. This is not a left-wing manifesto, nor a vilification of wealth, but a careful reconsideration of how members of society benefit from their membership and how we can, and should, give back.

Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks focus their ire on income levels and tax. Between 1980 and 2008, during the time of supposed plenty, the income of the bottom 90% of Americans grew by a measly 1%. The income of the top 0.01% grew by 403%. Their polemic is assiduously researched and a fast-paced read. They leaven graphs and data with amusing quotes from a rogue´s gallery of the rich.

McQuaig/Brooks cleverly place the achievements of the super rich within the context of collective human endeavour, no super rich man or woman is an island. They have all made their money through innovations and discoveries involving others, or by virtue of government spending. As Martin Rosenberg states, `my wealth is not only a product of my own hard work. It also resulted from a strong economy and lots of public investment, both in others and in me. I received a good education, and used free libraries and museums paid for by others. `

Of interest