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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Richest 2% own 'half the wealth'

(Story) The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth, according to a new study by a United Nations research institute.

The report, from the World Institute for Development Economics Research at the UN University, says that the poorer half of the world's population own barely 1% of global wealth.

I don't know about you, but that makes me rather sad... I won't rant here about what should happen to change that (unless you ask), but I will say that we need to evolve a hell of a lot farther than this to be a species that I have any respect for.

Your thoughts on this news?

... it's worse in the US! The richest 1% own 90% of the nations wealth - and that particular one percent is 80% of the two percent you were quoting on a global level.

'Tis time to get that sailboat and cruse in neutral waters!
That's not even counting how interconnected those families are.
I have a friend who has occasionally brushed shoulders with the incredibly wealthy in her career. Unbelievable. And they truly have absolutely no idea how the rest of North America, let alone the rest of the world, lives.
You know my thoughts on this. No need for me to rant here. ;)
Cash is King in the Rule of the Jungle.

Maybe a few smart dudes should remove liberty, and level the playing field. The smart dudes can pull the strings so all man kind is in equal misery. Of course the smart dudes (preferably Belgians) will accomplish all this with a hatchet, axe, and saw.

Prisons will need to be built for individuals who think the smart dudes are goddamn fools.
I did a little work on "The Gist" of Informationalism if you are interested!
Not only is that sad, but in the states, the poor no longer are isolated in the cities, they've spread into suburbia.
Which correlates these findings.
It's getting pretty strange everywhere ; (
You'd think, if all of us who don't have much, we could band together and do something constuctive to make changes to this????
This is one of the few studies attempting to measure wealth on the basis of net assets owned rather than the more traditional means of income which is easier to calculate. It presents a sobering picture even though the figures are very old and rather rubbery to say the least. Many younger people setting out in life have zero net worth whilst other will consume and spend from borrowings more than their assets and technically are insolvent, whiles not appearing poor. Households stats are distorting by theses aspects.

It follows then in the poorer nations where life expectancy is much lower (in parts of AIDS effected Africa as low as 38)it will have no chance of building wealth, even with massive aid as Aids continues to decimate the population.

We tend to associate poverty with Africa but China still has 50% of peasants existing on $1 dollar a day with zero net worth. These peasants are flocking to the cities are often subject to abuse by unscupulous employers. Even so the average age expectancy is over 70.

Indonesia has similar type stats with a life expectancy of 68.

The make Poverty history idea for the wealthier countries to donate 1% of GDP would make an enormous difference, with funds earmarked for improvements to universal health services, education , clean water, food security, micro bank credits, support for small and middle range industry, worker cooperatives, infrastructure and so on.

The problem already commented upon is the existing disparity in the wealthier countries, which makes residents very resentful of offering further help by way of increased taxation revenue. Hardly surprising.

It seems to me the most outstanding issue in the USA is the need for a universal health care system, on top of the existing fragmented private schemes which reduces competition and increases costs and the possibility of fraud. Consequently the highest heath costs of anywhere in the world.

The further down the scale you are, the more likely you are to suffer from strokes diabetes etc,

So I think it all gets back to human rights, something Gary you are very familiar, that is Increased competition within a human rights environment, Private industry will, iF allowed too free a reign seek to eliminate competition by seeking to create oligopolies, unfair trade practices, to make goods off shore with cheap labour which ignore occupational health and safety issues, and use predatory pricing to eliminate any competition.

A fairer society will provide checks and safeguards, it then becomes more efficient and you have greater spread of income and less inequality in net assets. Most employees of corporations seek these aims; it’s up everyone to use their voice.

Of course a lot also depends on what you spend your tax dollar on, The US military is 30 times bigger than the combined spending of the seven official U.S. "rogue" states. Spend less on the military and more on heath, education and sustainable development.

Best wishes
Great response, Lindsay.
i agree with you it's a condition of our evolutionary position - and it's going to take a few more generations before we cease being competitive for survival and turn to being exclusively co-operative for survival.

unfortunately greed is a human condition which we collectively know to be destructive yet, given the opportunity, individually we can't help ourselves.

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