What Price Socialism?

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Here's a stat to make anyone think.

Six members of the Walton Wallmart family have the same net worth as the bottom 30% of American families combined.

My girlfriend Shelley and I were talking yesterday while driving back from a bathroom store. She had warned me against it, saying 'much too posh for your taste rob' but as usual I let my determination guide me.  She was right of course. Marble corner baths with jacussi and sculpted arse crevice not for me at all.

So we were talking about what people do with more than enough money. I was wondering what JK rowling does with £700 million. She's married to a GP, living in Scotland in a farmhouse and writing books. She probably driveds a VW. She's clearly not the yacht or private plane type.

We concluded that she would presumably try to redistribute the money in a useful way. Fair enough. In fact Bill Gates has started something of a cult of philanthropy among the very rich… preying on their natural competitiveness. Terrific plan Bill.

However, in terms of icebergs and tips they aren't really scratching the surface. When 6 individual shareholders from the same family business can have more money than almost a third of the population of the United States i.e. 85 million people you then need to extrapolate from there to the situation in many African, South American and Asian countries and we find that these 6 individuals are worth more than whole nations. $100 billion. That's giving a thousand dollars to 100 nillion poor people. That's feeding their children, clothing their family, putting clean water in their village. 100 million of them…say it again…a thousand dollars to a hundred million people!

Doesn't this all sound clichéd, hackneyed, old-fashioned, unreconstructed egalitarian sour grapes? Well, I’ve given all my money away. All of it. I mean all of it. How about you?