(JD Heyes) Many of the world’s uber-elite and super-wealthy are staking out retreats in remote lands like New Zealand to protect themselves and their families from coming unrest.
As reported by Britain’s Mirror, hedge fund managers especially are staking out the secret escapes, “in the event of civil uprising against growing inequality,” the paper said in online editions.
Included in the purchases are landing strips, homes and land in remote areas of remote countries where they believe they will be safe from the masses.
The paper further reported:
With growing inequality and riots such as those in London in 2011 and in Ferguson and other parts of the USA last year, many financial leaders fear they could become targets for public fury.
The president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, Robert Johnson, told attendees at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos (itself, ironically, representative of a class of uber-rich that exists apart from the 99.9 percent of the rest of the world) that a number of hedge fund managers and others with the means to do so were already busy planning their getaway.
“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,” he said.
He added that the global economic situation may soon become intolerable for many, including people in the richest nations, because inequality appears steadily on the rise.
“People need to know there are possibilities for their children — that they will have the same opportunity as anyone else,” Johnson said. “There is a wicked feedback loop. Politicians who get more money tend to use it to get more even money.”
His comments were supported by the executive director of the New Economics Foundation, Stewart Wallis. In an interview with CNBC Africa, Wallis said, “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?” Wallis continued.
“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.”
The move by rich Americans to shield themselves from unrest actually began in earnest a few years ago. In 2012, for instance, The Huffington Post reported that handfuls of buyers had spent millions on the purchase of condos fashioned out of renovated underground Cold War-era missile silos.
Other reports note that other wealthy Americans are purchasing luxury bunkers to ride out the waves of malcontents. As noted, ironically, on the website, TheRichest.com last year:
The billionaire bunker is becoming increasingly more commonplace. In an age of anxiety, where threats of terrorism, natural disaster, and Orwellian government surveillance dominate the media, where Russia, in lieu of recent political events in Crimea, issues a nonchalant warning like — “Russia is the only country in the world that is realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash” -it’s logical that the super-rich would want to build luxurious strongholds against whatever doomsday scenario is on the horizon.
Still, other companies are offering more affordable bunker retreats, as we reported in 2012:
[A] shelter [sold by Al’s Army Navy Store,] which measures 32 feet by 10 feet, is designed out of corrugated metal, and comes complete with a flat-screen television set, kitchen, bunk beds, and electric-powered toilet. And although the structure lacks a shower, its creators say it could still come in quite handy should a local, regional, or even national emergency call for hunkering down and riding out the fray underground and out of sight.
That report, which details the bunker business model of Florida- and California-based companies, is available here.