18 Jan 2016

62 individuals own more than half the world's population

"Just 62 people own as much wealth as the poorer half of the global population, a new report reveals, as the widening of the gap between the rich and poor accelerates.... an Oxfam report shows wealth is becoming further concentrated, with the number of people owning the same amount as the bottom half of humanity falling from 388 to 62 in five years."

Read about it here and here.

It's actually worse than that. Some of these people listed individually are actually from the same family. Four of them are Waltons of the Wal-Mart fortune, and Charles and David Koch are listed separately.
( By the way, there is an interesting side of the Koch clan presented here. )

29 of these individuals are in the USA, 7 in Germany, 4 each in France and China, 3 each in Hong Kong and India, 2 each in Brazil and Italy, and 1 each from Spain, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Japan and Russia.

"It says a "broken" economic model underpinned by deregulation, privatisation and financial secrecy has seen the wealth of the richest 62 people jump by 44 per cent in five years to $1.76 trillion. In that time, the wealth of the poorest 3.6 billion people plunged by 41 per cent."

just in case you missed it...
"deregulation, privatisation and financial secrecy"
nothing magical... and nothing that is not a policy type that is defended - nay... advocated - by both committed and casual free-market fundamentalists everyday...


There is no defending concentrations of wealth on this scale. There is no "oh they worked hard" while ignoring the fact that countless millions work harder everyday without hope just to keep their children semi-fed for another day.
This obscene wealth was achieved in many cases by a combination of inheritance, systematic corruption and the exploitation of hideously under-privileged workforces.

There is no saying it's just an accident. Poverty is as artificial as wealth. People with the power decided not to exercise it. People with the wealth decided not to share it. People who circumvented tax-laws decided to do it. People who knew about the poverty their actions would perpetuate, or even create, decided they were just fine with it.


And there is nothing radical in the idea of wanting something done about it. Often it is because the laws we already have are not being adhered to.
It says nothing about you, ideologically, that you find this situation abhorrent - while it probably DOES say something about you if you think it's just fine.

This is neo-feudalism, and ultimately it is this obscenity of concentrated wealth that powers the wars and upheavals that plague mankind more than anything else - including religious extremism.

"Oxfam said a three-pronged approach was needed: a crackdown on tax dodging; higher investment in public services; and higher wages for the low paid. It said a priority should be to close down tax havens, increasingly used by rich individuals and companies to avoid paying tax and which had deprived governments of the resources needed to tackle poverty and inequality...
 
Duncan Exley, the trust’s director, said: “Inequality... is now at staggering levels. We know that such a vast gap between the richest and the rest of us is bad for our economy and society. We now need our politicians to wake up and address this dangerous concentration of wealth and power in the hands of so few.”

3 comments:

  1. It certainly won't change when we keep electing people who protect and help those rich get richer. I include Hilary in that bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  2. GOP = Neofeudalism. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm aware of who either agitates for or tacitly supports this situation, that's why I emphasised "deregulation, privatisation" because those are the ideological auto-pilots that just perpetuate this. It's the language by which people say 'yeah lets just give our stuff to rich people so they can charge us to use it' without even knowing it.

    ReplyDelete