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The Trouble with Billionaires: How The Super-Rich Hijacked The World (And How We Can Take It Back) Paperback – 2 May 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185168994X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851689941
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.8 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 952,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'Entertaining and enraging... assiduously researched and a fast-paced read.'

(John Kampfner Observer)

Review

‘A fusion of rigorous academic analysis and sharp, witty journalism… perfectly pitched… a manifesto for our times.’ LeftCentral blog

RUNNING THE RIFT by Naomi Benaron

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.

The book is meticulously-researched and offers a balanced view of the global economic landscape. The writing is accessible and the authors do a terrific job of breaking down complicated economic language and offering practical examples. I found the book incredibly absorbing and honestly missed my bus stop on one occasion - who knew tax could be so interesting.

I think this is the first book I've reviewed on Amazon but I thought I should try and encourage others to read this important book.
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Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks's "The Trouble With Billionaires" is a superb analysis of the growing levels of inequality in the U.K. over the last thirty odd years. As the title suggests their focus is on the higher end of the income scale: the political decisions that have allowed a few to accumulate perverse levels of wealth, and the myths that have allowed this state of affairs to gain a degree of legitimacy in the public sphere.

Early chapters give an idea of the scale of the problem (Top 1% of UK earners share of total income rising from around 6% in the mid 1970's to over 15% by the time of the Credit Crunch), remind us that "free" markets are generally anything but, not least with regards to the question of executive pay where executives sit on one another's remuneration committees and discover that yes they are worth double digit salary increases year after year after year regardless of company performance.

The 3rd chapter, "Paying for a Civilised Society" takes a step sideways to look at tax and spending, providing statistical proof that there is no correlation between levels of taxation and economic growth thus demolishing the myths that increasing taxation on the rich will cause the economy to tank. And while there is no correlation, negative or positive, between taxation and economic growth the authors do assemble evidence to suggest that there is a correlation between higher taxes and increased equality, gender equality, economic security of workers, social well-being, and lower child mortality amongst other measures. And make the point that the lower tax narrative, whatever has been said at the rhetorical level, is essentially about reducing taxation on the rich.

Chapter 4: "Plutocracy, Climate Change and the Fate of the World" is the books weakest.
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Brilliant! Learn how the super-rich have hijacked democracy and put the planet in peril. Highly readable, well-researched, couldn't recommend more highly!
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