While the number of the world’s billionaires grew from
793 in 2006 to 946 this year, major mass uprisings
became commonplace occurrences in China and India. In
India, which has the highest number of billionaires
(36) in Asia with total wealth of $191 billion USD,
Prime Minister Singh declared that the greatest single
threat to ‘India’s security’ were the Maoist led
guerrilla armies and mass movements in the poorest
parts of the country. In China, with 20 billionaires
with $29.4 billion USD net worth, the new rulers,
confronting nearly a hundred thousand reported riots
and protests, have increased the number of armed
special anti-riot militia a hundred fold, and
increased spending for the rural poor by $10 billion
USD in the hopes of lessening the monstrous class
inequalities and heading off a mass upheaval.

The total wealth of this global ruling class grew 35%
year to year topping $3.5 trillion USD, while income
levels for the lower 55% of the world’s
six-billion-strong population declined or stagnated.
Put another way, one hundred millionth of the world’s
population (1/100,000,000) owns more than over three
billion people. Over half of the current billionaires
(523) came from just three countries: the US (415),
Germany (55) and Russia (53). The 35% increase in
wealth mostly came from speculation on equity markets,
real estate and commodity trading, rather than from
technical innovations, investments in job-creating
industries or social services.

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