Synopses & 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.
About the Author
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).
Table of Contents
Return of the Plutocrats
Chapter 2 Why Pornography Is the Only True Free Market
Chapter 3 Millionaires and the Crash of 1929
Chapter 4 Billionaires and the Crash of 2008
Chapter 5 Why Bill Gates Doesn’t Deserve His Fortune
Chapter 6 Why Other Billionaires Are Even Less Deserving
Chapter 7 Hank Aaron and the Myths about Motivation
Chapter 8 Taking the Fun out of Tax Havens
Chapter 9 Why Billionaires Are Bad for Your Health
Chapter 10 Why Billionaires Are Bad for Democracy
Chapter 11 The True Badge of Citizenship
Chapter 12 Revamping the Ovarian Lottery