6 December 2015   Leave a comment

According to the Institute for Policy Studies researchers:

“The wealthiest 20 individuals in the United States today hold more wealth than the bottom half of the U.S. population combined. These 20 super wealthy — a group small enough to fly together on one Gulfstream G650 private jet — have as much wealth as the 152 million people who live in the 57 million households that make up the bottom half of the U.S. population.”

The researchers point out that the increasing inequality of the American population is the consequence of deliberate political choice:  the tax laws and their loopholes inordinately favor those who possess highly mobile capital and disenfranchise those who rely almost exclusively on income derived from labor.

Forbes Top 20 Rank

Name                                             Wealth ($bill) Source of Wealth        Residence

1 Bill Gates                                   76                       Microsoft                      Medina, WA

2 Warren Buffett                        62                        Berkshire Hathaway Omaha, NE

3 Larry Ellison                           47.5                       Oracle                         Woodside, CA

4 Jeff Bezos                                47                           Amazon                      Seattle, WA

5 Charles Koch                          41                           Koch Industries          Wichita, KS

6 David Koch                             41                           Koch Industries           New York, NY

7 Mark Zuckerberg                   40.3                       Facebook                     Palo Alto, CA

8 Michael Bloomberg              38.6                        Bloomberg LP             New York, NY

9 Jim Walton                            33.7                        Wal-Mart heir              Bentonville, AR

10 Larry Page                            33.3                        Google                           Palo Alto, CA

11 Sergey Brin                           32.6                        Google                          Los Altos, CA

12 Alice Walton                        32                           Wal-Mart heir              Fort Worth, TX

13 S. Robson Walton               31.7                        Wal-Mart heir               Bentonville, AR

14 Christy Walton                    30.2                        Wal-Mart heir              Jackson, WY

15 Sheldon Adelson                 26                            Sands Casino                Las Vegas, NV

16 George Soros                       24.5                         Hedge funds                 Katonah, NY

17 Phil Knight                           24.4                         Nike                               Hillsboro, OR

18 Forrest Mars, Jr                  23.4                         Mars Candy heir          Big Horn, WY

18 Jacqueline Mars                  23.4                         Mars Candy heir          The Plains, VA

18 John Mars                            23.4                          Mars Candy heir          Jackson, WY

Top 20 Combined: $732 Billion Source: Forbes, September 29, 2015.

Turkey has detained Russian vessels trying to navigate the Bosporus as Russia and Turkey continue to escalate their diplomatic spat.   The naval violations detected by Turkish authorities do not seem to be especially egregious:

There are a number of Russian military vessels in the area as both sides continue to brandish their swords.

The right-wing National Front party in France, led by Marine Le Pen, has scored significant victories in French regional elections.   President Hollande’s Socialist Party appears to have come in a distant third in the polling spelling significant ruling problems for France in the near future.  Many interpret the vote for the National Front as an explicit rejection of the traditional ruling parties, an interpretation which is also reflected in the polling trends in the US as well.

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Posted December 6, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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