Final Word from Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Michael Moore, influential filmmaker and rabble-rouser, declared on the Rachel Maddow Show that the 400 richest Americans have amassed more wealth than 50% of the entire U.S. population. A few days earlier he argued at a union rally that the wealth of the country "has been transferred in the greatest heist in history from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich." And no one has gone to jail for the theft, he said. A calculation of our own using Forbes' figures for 2009 and data from the Statistical Office shows that the three richest Czechs (Petr Kellner, Zdeněk Bakala, Andrej Babiš) owned as much as 331,000 people, or 3.2% of the population. When you add in the other 108 richest Czechs, as defined by Týden, they owned as much as 9.3% of all Czechs. (To review our figures, click on the red bubble above.) Unlike Michael Moore, our goal isn't to stoke a class war. Instead, it's to encourage the filthy rich to take preemptive action to address this explosive situation before it's too late.

Glossary of difficult words

filthy - obscene and offensive;  disgustingly dirty; 

rabble-rouser - a person who speaks with the intention of inflaming emotions of a crowd; 

to amass - to gather together or accumulate over a period of time;

heist - a robbery; 

uber - (from German) denoting an outstanding or supreme example; 

to stoke - to encourage or incite (a strong emotion or tendency).

Our calculation: We used the Forbes figures for 2009 (not 2010), because 2010 net worth figures for Czech households are not yet available. Kellner, Bakala and Babiš had combined 2009 net worth of $9.8bn, or Kc 186bn. Czech households had total 2009 net worth of Kč 5.79 trillion, and the Czech population was 10.34m, so net worth per person was Kč 560,000. According to Týden, the total net worth of the 111 richest Czechs was Kč 537.95bn, based always on the low figure in the range given.


Tel: 420 224 221 580

Published by

E.S. Best s.r.o.
Ovenecká 78/33
170 00 Prague 7
Czech Republic



FS Final Word