The glittering lives of billionaires may seem like a harmless source of entertainment. But such concentrated economic power reverberates throughout society, threatening the quality of life and the very functioning of democracy. It’s no accident that the United States claims the most billionaires—but suffers among the highest rates of infant mortality and crime, the shortest life expectancy, as well as the lowest rates of social mobility and electoral political participation in the developed world.
Our society tends to regard large fortunes as evidence of great talent or accomplishment. Yet the vast new wealth isn’t due to an increase in talent or effort at the top, but rather to changing social attitudes legitimizing greed and government policy changes that favour the new elite. Authoritative and eye-opening, The Trouble with Billionaires will spark debate about the kind of society we want.
Neil Brooks is a professor of tax law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, where he is director of the graduate program in taxation.
Linda McQuaig is an op-ed columnist in the Toronto Star and author of seven national bestsellers, including It’s the Crude, Dude and Shooting the Hippo.
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Linda McQuaig – “Trouble with Billionaires” full show
Journalist and author of “The Trouble With Billionaires”, Linda McQuaig, argues that the rise of a super-rich elite and growing income inequality, is damaging to society and upsets the very functioning of democracy.