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

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A society top-heavy with billionaires may seem like a paradise of upward mobility, but it actually more closely resembles a boneyard of broken dreams for all but a lucky few. Between 1980 and 2008, the incomes of the bottom 90 percent of Americans grew by a meager 1 percent compared to a whopping 403 percent for the top .01 percent. We tend to regard these large fortunes as proof of a meritocracy, yet there is no evidence that members of today’s super-rich are any more talented or hardworking than were the elite of a generation ago. Via vivid profiles of billionaires—ranging from philanthropic capitalist Bill Gates and the infamous Koch brothers to brazen private equity baron Stephen Schwarzman—Billionaires’ Ball debunks the notion that they “deserve” their grand fortunes, when such wealth is really a by-product of a legal and economic system that’s become deeply flawed and is now threatening the quality of life and very functioning of our democracy. 

About the Author

Journalist and Canadian bestselling author Linda McQuaig has a reputation for challenging the establishment. Winner of Canada's National Newspaper Award and an Atkinson Fellowship for Journalism in Public Policy, she has written for "The Globe and Mail, National Post, Montreal Gazette, " and numerous national magazines. She now writes a weekly political column on the op-ed page of "The Toronto Star."

Neil Brooks has been appearing at live poetry readings for years, exhibiting his edgy perspective on subjects from Activism to Zen. His life experience comes from being a professional, a protester, a farmhand and a drifter. Wit's End marks Neil's first foray into novel writing, and the first installment of an exciting new series called Black Mirror.

Praise For…

“The most entertaining treatment yet of our super-rich.”
—Sam Pizzigati, Too Much

“A blistering yet utterly entertaining account of the rampaging growth in economic inequality.”
—Robert W. McChesney, coauthor of Dollarocracy
“Lively, tough-minded, and impeccably researched.”
—Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation
“A fascinating account of how many of the country’s super-rich made their fortunes and why they do not deserve them. Billionaires’ Ball will leave readers both better informed and infuriated.”
—Dean Baker, author of False Profits

“Lively, tough-minded, and impeccably researched, Billionaires’ Ball powerfully demonstrates how ruthless political opportunism—as opposed to talent, hard work, or innovation—is helping the rich get richer. The current system, unjust and socially destructive, McQuaig and Brooks argue, sacrifices the interests of the bottom 99 percent (as the Occupy Wall Street movement has described it) to ensure unprecedented wealth and privilege for the 1 percent at the top.”
—Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power and Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children 

“A devastating exposé of the real-world impact of extreme wealth concentration, from two of our most rigorous, knowledgeable, and humorous chroniclers of corporate excess.”
—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine
“A blistering yet utterly entertaining account of the rampaging growth in economic inequality that is America’s defining feature in the twenty-first century.”
—Robert W. McChesney, coauthor of Dollarocracy

“In this breezy and lucid tale of the rise, fall, and return of plutocracy in America, Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks make a compelling case for taxes, especially on the inheritance of great fortunes that could renew American society from one generation to the next.”
—James K. Galbraith, author of Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis 

Product Details
ISBN: 9780807003435
ISBN-10: 0807003433
Publisher: Beacon Press (MA)
Publication Date: March 26th, 2013
Pages: 280
Language: English