Customer Review

47 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book will not bring on the economic or any other revolution.........., 7 Nov 2012
This review is from: Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (Hardcover)
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Don't call the rich rich - because the rich don't really like it - it rhymes with bitch!

The sub title of this book is "The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else" Trouble is the book bangs on about the mega rich and pretty much ignores the rest of us, the ones who create the immense wealth that keep the objects of Ms Freeland's book in yachts, jets and three million dollar birthday parties. I could not afford a birthday present for my unemployed son (unemployed because so many UK jobs have been 'outsourced' to low wage economies) on my miserable state pension - as I spent most of my working life in low paid work, sustaining the one tenth of one percent of our population that reap the rewards of our labour and give back the absolute minimum in the form of wages, pensions,social benefits and spend half their working life scheming how to avoid paying taxes. So their average working day is 15 hours, poor things, so was mine when I was working on the cross channel ferry boats. In fact it was more like 19 hours a day for three weeks at a time with two x two and a half hour breaks for sleep, yet the mega rich shipowners thought that a zombie like crew was safe and secure to run their ships across the busiest stretch of water in the world on an average of five hours sleep/rest per day. No wonder they used to sink!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not jealous, just very, very angry.

This book does little to abate my anger about a system that leaves a few in control of the economic lives of billions, unelected, undemocratic and working only for their own self-gain. The author throws out the odd comment such as "Capitalism was not meant to be like this" but all in all seems very uncritical.I guess all the time the author spends rubbing shoulders with and peeking into the lifestyles of the so called "plutocrats" has maybe affected her objectivity?

I really cannot fathom out the main message (assuming there is one?) of this book, absolutely packed full of figures, statistics and quotes from economists, politicians, and other 'experts' that the author constantly mixes into her own narrative.

If you are interested in peeking into the lifestyle of the super wealthy (apparently 'wealthy', 'affluent' are acceptable terms to the over sensitive billionaires) then this book might hold some interest but you could do just as well looking at 'Hello' or some other celebrity and wealth obsessed magazine. "Dissecting" the lives of a few mega rich I personally think does little to add to the debate about the inequality of wealth or the vast decline in distribution of wealth especially in the USA, Western Europe, the Oil Kingdoms and Japan. Inter-spacing these potted biographies with tons of statistics and figures does not keep the narrative flowing, it fact it can become quite annoying. At least Ms Freeland does not just keep to the usual suspects (Bill Gates et al), she does introduce some of the relatively 'new' super rich from the BRIC economies and countries like Ukraine.

The book claims to show us the "New Wealth and it's Consequences" but in my mind it falls well short on the consequences and on the question of what (if anything) can be done about it?

Some may ask if we should even worry about the mega-rich? My feeling is yes we should, at least whilst half the world exists on a couple of dollars a day and the mega rich and huge corporations wield massive, totally undemocratic, economic and political power.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Dec 2012 16:40:20 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2012 10:37:33 GMT
Thanks for your really useful comment, maybe you should do something objective in your life and perhaps review the book yourself rather than making rather childish and stupid remarks about someone who has?
If you want to spend all your life working for/being ruled by non -elected, undemocratic people and corporations who have no other interests than making maximum profit out of you and ruining the world we live in for future generations then that is your problem.
Was not aware that I was advocating a 'communist' lifestyle or economic system but probably to apologists for the system like yourself, anyone who does not agree with you is a 'commie', a 'red' or similar.
As for moving to a 'communist' country I was not aware there was any, if you think North Korea is 'communist' then that really shows your ignorance and rather infantile view of the world.
I am not bitter pal, anything but, have lived a full and varied life in 4 different countries and visited more than 35 others, north, south, east and west. Certainly not wasted, anything but, a life of travel. adventure and lifelong friendships. I have seen first hand the poverty and misery created by the system that concentrates wealth in the hands of a few individuals and corporations whose goals are often in direct opposition to the well being and welfare of a majority of the world population.
What I have seen and experienced in the last fifty years of work and travel has shaped my personal views and beliefs on any given matter such as the subject matter of the reviewed book and I write my reviews accordingly.
I welcome other points of view, positive or negative but senseless little snide remarks do not add to the debate at all.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2013 19:53:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Mar 2013 19:54:25 GMT
Samuel - what an arrogant and infantile comment - perhaps you should attempt to develop a personality before trying to assassinate someone else's?

Posted on 20 Oct 2013 23:14:22 BDT
Gudrun says:
Dear Redbigbill, I found your comment very useful. I have seen the author's TED and have the same question: What can be done against these super-rich? Compound interest lead to this phenomen and interests were forbidden by some religions....

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2013 09:57:14 BDT
I wrote quite a detailed reply to your post but Amazon in their wisdom have censored it and will not display it. They have given me no reason other than to look at their 'guidelines' which I have and found nothing wrong other than being expressed from a socialist angle.Strange, I thought we still lived in a country where political and economic discussion, even if from a left viewpoint was still allowed.

Posted on 28 Nov 2013 09:22:29 GMT
thanks for the unusual informative and passionate review, it prompted me to look at some of your other reviews and I bought some of those you recommend.

Posted on 28 Nov 2013 09:48:27 GMT
Wrt your question "What can be done about it?": Thom Hartmann in Crash 2016 has some quite concrete proposals.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2013 09:56:23 GMT
Thanks for your kind words, am more accustomed to abuse from the right wing (and extreme left wing) warrior trolls that frequent these pages. Will check out your suggested reading.

Posted on 28 Jan 2014 01:20:39 GMT
D. V. Short says:
I agree with this review by RedBigBill. I will add my bit by saying that one should never forget that there is NO such thing as a self-made rich man (or women). NObody can get rich, especially that rich, without the employment of others. A truly (more) self-made wealthy person gets relatively wealthy by relying more on his or her own labours and acumen rather than get others to do it for him or her, as well as avoid tax subsidies and tax breaks for support. Ironically, the sudsidised tax-dodgers dislike their money going to benefit scroungers, yet benefit scroungers absorb a fraction of the GDP of nation compared with what the filthy rich absorb from government benefits to them! How hypocritical is that?!

I have been driven out of what could be called (in relative terms) a lower middle-income bracket into a low income bracket by mega-rich corporations forcing governments to impose sanctions, as well as trading currencies against the country of my origin, forcing the dislocation of my economic and social life to another country - the very country that caused such a demise to me and millions of others.

I don't believe things will ever get better for most humans on this planet, because greed will always force a relatively few people to take more than what they really need at the expense to others. It is the survival of the sh---est (not fittest).

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2014 09:46:44 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 28 Jan 2014 09:55:01 GMT]
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