Fearing the sort of poor people’s revolution that made the Hunger Games such a hit, nervous financiers and super rich hedge fund managers across the globe have been panic purchasing “secret bolt holes” with their own private airstrips in remote parts of countries such as New Zealand, so that they’ve got somewhere to flee to in case the poor people rise up.
With income inequality growing and spreading worldwide, financial leaders are fearful that populations around the world might take inspiration from revolutionary-themed films like Hunger Games. Dissatisfied people have taken to the streets in recent years – from the London riots of 2011 to last year’s demonstrations across the USA – and the financial elite are reportedly worried that they might become the next target for public fury.
The Mirror reports that Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, told people at the World Economic Forum in Davos that many hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes before films like the Hunger Games become a reality.
In an interview on YouTube, Johnson states that the economic situation could soon become intolerable as even in the richest countries inequality was increasing.
“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. People need to know there are possibilities for their children – that they will have the same opportunity as anyone else. There is a wicked feedback loop. Politicians who get more money tend to use it to get more even money.”
Stewart Wallis, executive director of the New Economics Foundation, concurs with Johnson’s views.
“Getaway cars, the airstrips in New Zealand, and all that sort of thing, so basically a way to get off. If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would. I think the rich are worried and they should be worried. I mean inequality, why does it matter?
“Most people have heard the Oxfam statistics that now we’ve got 80, the 80 richest people in the world, having more wealth that the bottom three-point-five billion, and very soon we’ll get a situation where that one percent, one percent of the richest people have more wealth than everybody else, the 99.”
In an economic climate that is fast resembling the one of Panem in the Hunger Games, Oxfam International’s executive director, Winnie Byanyima agreed and told the Guardian that the increased concentration of wealth seen since the deep recession of 2008-09 was dangerous and needed to be reversed.
“We want to bring a message from the people in the poorest countries in the world to the forum of the most powerful business and political leaders.
“The message is that rising inequality is dangerous. It’s bad for growth and it’s bad for governance. We see a concentration of wealth capturing power and leaving ordinary people voiceless and their interests uncared for.
“Do we really want to live in a world where the 1% own more than the rest of us combined? The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast.”