The super-rich are buying property to flee to because they’re scared the poor will rise up

Fear of civil unrest prompts super-rich to buy “getaway” boltholes

The super-rich are buying property with airstrips in places like New Zealand, because they’re afraid of an uprising from the poor, according to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Robert Johnson, president of US think tank, the Institute of New Economic Thinking, said hedge fund managers are making getaway plans after civil unrest such as the 2011 London riots and the recent Ferguson riots.

He said: “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.”

Johnson’s statments follow Oxfam’s recent report indicating how the gap between the rich and poor is widening. Over the last five years, the richest 1% grew from owning 44% of the world’s wealth to 48% in 2014, says Oxfam. By next year, they’ll own more than the rest of the 99% put together.

According to reports in The Guardian, Johnson argued that if the lowest-earning people are making enough money, people can tolerate income inequality. However, when more and more people are struggling to get by even in the richest countries, the gap becomes a problem.

“People need to know there are possibilities for their children – that they will have the same opportunity as anyone else,” said Johnson.

“There is a wicked feedback loop. Politicians who get more money tend to use it to get more even money.”

Stewart Wallis from the New Economics Foundation agreed that the wealthy were planning their escape, telling CNBC Africa: “If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would.”

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Readers' comments (4)

  • The so call super rich are the leeches the ordanery people have to get rid of by rubbing sault or appying heat on to them to get them, to stop sucking the life blod out of the masses.

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  • Anonymous

    If it wasn't for the super rich owning most of the business in this country and the rest of the world many more people would be out of work, these people, or many of these people, are people who take the risk by putting their money on the line to develope business. Hedge Funds only get commented on when something goes wrong with a company who created their own problems no one congratulates the Hedge Funders when they help a company turn around into something successful. I'm glad I'm very rich as I here it is snowing in the UK

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  • Michael Smith

    Wealth is not a bad thing provided it comes with a conscience. How many of those super-rich employ people on the National Minimum Wage when they COULD afford to employ them on a Living Wage. How many of those super-rich secrete their profits in off-shore havens when they could be supporting the nation that has given them their wealth. If they don't wise up and play fair they will be shooting themselves in the foot.

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  • There has to be a revolution. Otherwise this could go on. The rich exploit and use the masses to make money and take in more as their share while the masses work hard and get very little. How can anyone live on minimum wage in London? There are so many millions living on minimum wage. Even a family of 4 with two dependent children earning £60,000 per annum cannot save a penny due to all the expenses due to inflation. Things have to change otherwise a revolution has to take place. The politicians are in the pockets of these rich industrialists and businessmen and that is what is making it so dangerous. The politicians use police and army to keep people quiet by threat. The employers keep the employees fearing by redundancy and zero hour contracts and marriages are breaking down due to the pressures at home created by these two - the politicians and the rich, what to speak of the various diseases that people are suffering from due to pressures and stresses of deadlines to help the greedy rich become more rich.

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