It is 0.01%, not 1%
I will start with a simple but stark statistic. My list shows that nought-point-nought one per cent (0.01%) of the Guyana population owns between 70 and 80 per cent of the private wealth of the country. Let me put it in absolute numbers: Nought-point-nought one per cent is equivalent to seventy-eight individuals or one out of every ten thousand persons. And my definition of private wealth excludes state-owned assets and companies such as GuySuCo, Guyoil and Guyana Power and Light. I have excluded as well the foreign owned or controlled companies such as RUSAL, BOSAI, Barama, Scotia and Republic Bank.
In my seventy-eight there are two families but the remainder are all individuals. Except for a couple of cases, there is not a lot of old money around. Current wealth includes new money, drug money and every kind of funny money in-between. Most of the wealth has been accumulated in the last twenty years. This period had its genesis with Desmond Hoyte’s Economic Recovery Programme which began in 1989 and was followed text-book style by successive PPP/C administrations. It seems almost bizarre that this same PPP/C once embraced socialism under the mantra of the defence of the working class. In opposition, the PPP/C’s founder used to rail against the obscenity of the income gap; in government it is a different tune.
With the present meteoric increase in personal wealth has come a scale of income disparity that the powers-that-be find too uncomfortable to discuss, let alone accept. Despite the absence of …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.