Chrystia Freeland: The rise of the new global super-rich

Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds — and so is economic inequality, says writer Chrystia Freeland.

 

In an impassioned talk, she charts the rise of a new class of plutocrats (those who are extremely powerful because they are extremely wealthy), and suggests that globalization and new technology are actually fueling, rather than closing, the global income gap. Freeland lays out three problems with plutocracy ... and one glimmer of hope.

 

 

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.

 

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

There has always been some gap between rich and poor in this country, but in the last few decades, what it means to be rich has changed dramatically.

 

Alarmingly, the greatest income gap is not between the 1 percent and the 99 percent, but within the wealthiest 1 percent of our nation—as the merely wealthy are left behind by the rapidly expanding fortunes of the new global super-rich. Chrystia Freeland, an acclaimed business journalist who has spent nearly two decades reporting on the new trans-global elite, cracks open the tight-knit world of the new global super rich and proves that it is the wealthiest 0.1 percent who are outpacing the rest of us at breakneck speed.

 

Plutocracy (from Greek πλοῦτος, ploutos, meaning "wealth", and κράτος, kratos, meaning "power, dominion, rule") or plutarchy, is a form of oligarchy and defines a society ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens. The first known use of the term was in 1652. Unlike systems such as democracy, capitalism, socialism or anarchism, plutocracy is not rooted in an established political philosophy. The concept of plutocracy may be advocated by the wealthy classes of a society in an indirect or surreptitious fashion, though the term itself is almost always used in a pejorative sense.

 

Historically, wealthy individuals and organizations have exerted influence over the political arena. In the modern era, many democratic republics permit fundraising for politicians who frequently rely on such income for advertising their candidacy to the voting public.

 

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Plutocrats The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else