Republican News · Thursday 11 May 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Rich get richer

There are now 55,000 ``super rich'' people across the globe, according to a new survey by US investment bank Merrill Lynch and Gemini Consulting. These super rich individuals own assets worth $7.9 trillion and their wealth grew by 20% in 1999. To qualify for this group, you have to have assets of over $30 million.

Dollar millionaires saw their wealth grow by 18%. There are now 2.5 million dollar millionaires in the US and Europe. Asia is fast catching up with 1.7 million dollar millionaires.

Rising share values and the growth of technology and internet assets have helped push up the net worth of the world's super rich. This is in stark contrast to the economic position of ordinary workers and their families across the world. Successive United Nations Human Development reports have highlighted the growing disparity between the rich and the majority of the world's population.

The Merrill Lynch report shows once again the inequality of the fact that those who own and control economic resources profit hugely from them while those who work for a wage are the losers again and again.

Record job losses

Dublin government propaganda about job creation has been in overdrive for the last few years as IDA and Enterprise Ireland job creation figures have been hitting so called record highs. Last year, the 26-County enterprise agencies created 34,000 new jobs. However, another 21,000 jobs were lost in the same agencies.

There were 9,400 jobs lost in IDA-supported companies. Almost 10,000 jobs went in Enterprise Ireland, while Shannon Development lost 1,600 jobs.

Job losses are always a possibility when development agencies are starting often risky new businesses. However, there have to be questions asked about the quality of the projects being funded by the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Shannon Development.

These agencies also only fund companies who are going to export their output. If funds can be spent so recklessly on failed export projects, why will the development agencies not fund 21,000 jobs in local community enterprises? At least then you would get a return for your investment.

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