America’s corporations, the latest stats show, have been upping what they spend to protect their top executives by about 15 percent a year since 2006. A host of companies — the World Protection Group Inc., the 360 Group, the Steele Foundation — are now making millions keeping CEOs and their buddies secure.
But where are all these millions for executive security actually going? Even the most elaborate and expensive residential security system, after all, only needs to be installed once. So what are companies getting when they routinely lay out six figures a year — and more — to keep their honchos whole?
Sober central bankers the world over — and their political pals — have been hyperventilating the last few months about the debts of the world’s most notorious deadbeat nations.
Over in Old Europe, we have Greece with a standing debt of some $485 billion. Over here in the New World, meanwhile, the United States owes some $9.4 trillion to the outside investing public.
“Crushing” debts like these, the debt hawks squawk, have only one remedy. The average people of deadbeat nations must swallow hard and accept austerity. They must shut down their libraries and overcrowd their classrooms — and start selling off their public assets as well. Anybody want to buy the Parthenon?
Power grows from the barrel of a gun. And the wealthy can purchase a whole lot of guns. There is only one power that has ever managed to even halfway prevent the wealthy from simply taking everything at gunpoint, and that is the power of the People as a whole getting together and using the wealth they produce to buy their own guns to offset the wealthy.
We call the organization thus produced “democratic government”, and the guns are “police”, directed by “laws” produced by “legislators” that are interpreted by “courts” that decide the punishment for those brought at gunpoint before them (said punishment, of course, being enforced at gunpoint too). At least, that was the notion during the 20th century. Today, of course, that all seems rather quaint.
Deloitte LLP has just become the latest global financial industry giant to take a stab at tallying the wealth of the world’s wealthy, joining, among others, Merrill Lynch, the Boston Consulting Group, and Credit Suisse. But Deloitte seems to be carving out a niche all its own in the wealth census sweepstakes: the future.
The global wealth study Deloitte’s Center for Financial Services released last week projects, a decade ahead, the wealthy’s wealth in 25 major countries “selected for their size, growth potential, and strategic importance.”
By 2020, Deloitte calculates, the holdings of all these wealthy will have more than doubled, from $92 trillion in 2011 to $202 trillion in 2020.
A simple but powerful chant is now starting to reverberate, all across the country, in protests against budgets cuts gone wild.
“How to fix the deficit?” marchers are shouting. “Tax, tax, tax the rich!”
That sentiment, unfortunately, hasn’t yet reached deep into many law-making chambers. Last week, in the nation’s capital, Rep. Jan Schakowsky from Illinois did introduce legislation that would up taxes on income over $1 million, from the current 35 percent to a range of new rates that run from 45 to 49 percent.