The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Good times for 691 billionaires!

Mar 21, 2005

Each year Forbes magazine totals up the biggest fortunes in the world. Anyone with over a billion dollars is included in this hit parade. This year there are 114 more billionaires than the year before, a sign that things are going good for the super rich. Their combined wealth is 2.2 trillion dollars, an increase of 300 billion dollars or 16% over the past year.

Among the new billionaires at the head of the list is Lakshmi Mittal from India with 25 billion dollars. He just bought up International Steel Group, which owns Bethlehem Steel among other U.S. mills, and merged it with his European and other mills, making the largest steel company in the world. And Carlos Slim of Mexico, who made his fortune from cell phones among other things, is worth 24 billion dollars. But the poor population of India and Mexico have plunged still further into misery. That doesn't interest Forbes.

New billionaires made the list for the first time coming from Poland, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The dismantling of the Soviet Union threw the workers into poverty but greatly enriched the privileged few there too.

But the U.S. leads this pack of thieves, and by far, with almost half the billionaires in the world – 341.

The source of all this wealth are the millions of workers exploited by these super rich capitalists to produce their profits. In the last year the capitalists continued to force through concessions and hold down wages and benefits, reducing the number of workers and increasing the amount of work done.