This year’s Australian Financial Review (AFR) The rich list highlights the parasitic character of the ruling class. Australia’s richest billionaires derive their wealth primarily from mining and real estate, followed by financial market-backed technology start-ups.
The newspaper said, “The rich are getting richer,” but it was “only”. The $563 billion included in Australia’s 200 largest assets on the 2023 list represents only a 1% increase from last year.
But wealth inequality has widened among the wealthy. Over the past 12 months, the wealth holdings of her 10 richest people increased by an average of 10% to exceed $200 billion in total, while the rest of the list fell back slightly.
A “property asset bubble” accounts for a quarter of the members of the wealthy list, making Australia one of the most expensive and debt-laden housing markets in the world. But it was mining tycoons, especially iron ore exporters, who enjoyed the biggest gains.
The valuations of two iron ore tycoons, Gina Reinhart ($37.41 billion) and Andrew Forrest ($33.29 billion), who have been Australia’s richest people for four consecutive years, are ‘market analysts’. list” rose 10% and 8% respectively. -Evaluated the outlook for world iron ore prices.
This outlook is largely buoyed by forecasts of rising Chinese demand, but despite the Albanian Labor government’s increasing involvement in US preparations for war against China, the Australian capitalist class is expected to increase its exports to China. It also highlights the unstable dependence on
Shortly after, Mr. Clive Palmer appeared. He claimed nearly 40 years ago that iron ore prices were tied to a royalty deal with Chinese-owned Citic, which mines the Pilbara tenements. Palmer now receives more than $500 million in annual checks from CITIC. This saw his ‘value’ increase by 21 per cent to $23.66 billion after selling the Queensland nickel business for $1.4 billion at the expense of employee employment, moving him from 7th to 5th in the rankings. went up
Palmer, the leader and funder of the far-right United Australia Party, has leapfrogged two tech billionaires, Atlassian Software founders Mike Cannonbrooks and Scott Farquhar. The two companies’ assets each fell more than 30%, as did Atlassian’s Nasdaq-listed stock, which was founded in 2002. This year, it laid off 500 people, or 5% of its workforce, albeit “with the heaviest of hearts.”
Third and fourth on the list are packaging industry executive Anthony Pratt and his family, whose valuation is stable at $24.3 billion, and Meriton apartment tycoon Harry Trigboff’s exorbitant house prices and rents. valuation rose 12% to $23.8 billion. “Higher returns from an extensive construction-to-leasing portfolio, as well as a large land bank, have helped Trigbov,” enthused AFR.
Top wealth has increased astronomically over the last 40 years. The first wealth list, published 40 years ago in 1983, contained a total fortune of $4.6 billion. If this had simply kept pace with the long-term average inflation rate of 2.5%, Rich Lister’s net worth would have totaled about $15 billion. This dwarfs the $563 billion currently amassed by the 200 richest people.
The AFR called it a “welcome statistic.” This “underscores the role Rich Lister has played in creating prosperity for Australia”. This “prosperity” is confined to the wealthiest segments of society, exploited at the expense of the working class whose labor is the source of income.
Two items in the “Wealthy List” article glorify the acquisition of personal wealth and show the true nature of this prosperity. First, the AFR reports that “a growing number of Australia’s ultra-rich are suffering from island bugs.” Over the past 18 months, the island’s major properties, worth more than $120 million, have changed owners. ”
Billionaires are buying up offshore tropical islands for personal use, building luxury resorts, or both. Among them are Forrest and his wife Nicola, whose private investment firm Tatteran purchased Lizard Island in northern Queensland for $42 million in 2021.
AFR explains: “Lizard Island, a protected national park with white sandy beaches, has a luxury resort rented out by US hotel management company Delaware North. Rates for rooms and villas perched above the Great Barrier Reef are , from $2,000 to $16,000 per night.”
The number of island owners is growing, including some of the more recent tech billionaires. Atlassian co-founder Cannon Brooks and his wife Annie bought Dunk Island off the north coast of Queensland last year for just under $25 million.
Second, the AFR reports that collectible luxury cars are among the many sources of speculative wealth. “According to Knight Frank’s 2023 The Wealth Report, vintage car values have risen 185 percent over the past decade, outpacing the growth of wine, watches and fine arts, ranking second only to rare whiskey. It is done.”
Rich lister Rex Pedersen jumped into the market. “The 47-year-old is best known in the investment market as the co-founder of online retailer Surfstitch, which was one of the hottest stocks in 2015 and two years after the administration took over. In 2021, he founded Chrome Temple, a business idea born out of his love of cars and motorcycles.The fund’s marketing line is ‘Grow Passion, Grow Wealth’.”
Parallel to this parasitic activity, the chasm between the wealthy and working class accelerated. The charity Oxfam reported in January that the richest 1% of Australians had amassed 10 times more wealth than the bottom 50% over the past decade.
Adding to a decade of falling real wages is a worsening cost of living crisis, increasing economic stress and outright hunger. By the end of last year, more than 2 million Australian households (21%) had been severely food insecure, meaning they couldn’t afford to eat, in the past 12 months, according to a survey by another charity, The Food Bank. bottom.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. and NATO war against Russia in Ukraine, food and energy, the most basic human necessities, are being deprived of society by profiteering by corporations. The groove widened further. The Oxfam report said, “95 food and energy companies will more than double their profits in 2022, triggering massive inflation in Australia and around the world, leaving millions to feed themselves and their families. I am struggling with this.”
Also, this enormous social polarization and the role of capitalist governments in lowering corporate and income taxes, deregulating finance and the operation of large corporations, privatizing infrastructure, and pouring trillions of dollars into short-term money markets. there is a direct relationship between
Importantly, the Wealthy List, which openly celebrates personal wealth, was created in 1983, the year the Labor Hawke and Keating Labor governments took office in Australia. It spearheaded this offensive in partnership with trade union bureaucrats under the banner of making Australian capitalism ‘internationally competitive’.
The current Albanian Labor government is deepening this process, allocating $313 billion over the next decade to a “Phase 3” income tax cut, overwhelmingly benefiting high earners. These benefits will come in parallel with $368 billion in AUKUS nuclear submarines to prepare for war with China, while billions of dollars will be cut from public health, education and disability services.
Despite all efforts to glorify and justify the ultra-rich, the working class has overthrown this entire system and the rich list is based on social and human needs rather than the accumulation of individual wealth. It shows the ardent need to build a socialist society that