It is no secret that the world is an unequal place when it comes to the distribution of wealth and the free exercise of political power.
Blair Parry-Oakden - heiress to Cox Enterprises fortune ($8.8 billion)
Gina Rinehart - mining magnate ($8.5 billion)
Harry Triguboff - property developer ($6.9 billion)
Frank Lowy - co-founder Westfield Group ($5 billion)
Anthony Pratt - CEO Pratt Industries & global chair Visy Industries ($3.6 billion)
James Packer - media mogul ($3.5 billion)
John Gandel - property developer ($3.2 billion)
Lindsay Fox - trucking magnate ($2.8 billion)
On 20 August 2015 The Washington Post reported a new study (based on Does Wealth Inequality Matter for Growth? The Effect of Billionaire Wealth, Income Distribution, and Poverty, IZA DP No. 7733 November 2013 and later reworked as Billionaires and Growth by Sutirtha Bagchi and Jan Svejnar).
This study reportedly found that 65% of all billionaire wealth in Australia is based on political connections rather than on business innovation and, In sum, wealth inequality that comes from political connections is responsible for nearly all the negative effect on economic growth that we had observed from wealth inequality overall.
Or to put it another way, wealth amassed by certain billionaires world-wide, through the giving of political donations, public and private lobbying of politicians and/or the exchange of political favours, was responsible for nearly all declining economic growth this century.