Billionaires' Ball: Gluttony and Hubris in an Age of Epic Inequality

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Beacon Press, 2012 - Business & Economics - 268 pages
8 Reviews
The concentration of wealth today in such a small number of hands inevitably created a dynamic that led to freewheeling financial speculation—a dynamic that produced similarly disastrous results in the last great age of inequality, in the 1920s. Such concentrated economic power reverberates throughout society, threatening the quality of life and the very functioning of democracy. As McQuaig and Brooks illustrate, it's no accident that the United States claims the most billionaires but suffers from among the highest rates of infant mortality and crime, the shortest life expectancy, and the lowest rates of social mobility and electoral political participation in the developed world.

In Billionaires' Ball, McQuaig and Brooks take us back in history to the political decisions that helped birth our billionaires, then move us forward to the cutting-edge research into the dangers that concentrated wealth poses. Via vivid profiles of billionaires—ranging from philanthropic capitalists such as Bill Gates to hedge fund king John Paulson and the infamous band of Koch brothers—Billionaires' Ball illustrates why we hold dearly to the belief that they "earned" and "deserve" their grand fortunes, when such wealth is really a by-product of a legal and economic infrastructure that's become deeply flawed.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lakanta - LibraryThing

A well written overview of some of what is wrong with the economics system as it stands today. A lot of the information I was already familiar with, having read other popular economic books, but I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ritaer - LibraryThing

This book lays out the argument for reducing the current inequality of income in the United States. Those who agree will find many statistics to back up their point of view. Those who disagree will ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Linda McQuaig has developed a reputation for taking on the establishment. Author of seven Canadian best sellers and winner of a National Newspaper Award, she has been a national reporter for the Globe and Mail, a senior writer for Maclean's magazine, and a political columnist for the Toronto Star.

Author of three books, Neil Brooks is director of the Graduate Program in Taxation at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He has participated in building projects relating to income tax in Lithuania (through the Harvard Institute for International Development), Vietnam (Swedish International Development Agency), Japan (Asian Development Bank), China (AUSAid), and Mongolia (AUSAid).

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