Richest 10% Control 89% of World’s Wealth

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Image by Dean Chahim via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

teleSUR English on Nov 25, 2016

The world has reached outrageous levels of inequality, and it’s only expected to get worse.

see also:

Top 1% of adults own 51% of the world’s wealth; top 10% own 89%; and bottom 50% own only 1%. by Michael Roberts

from the archives:

Michael Hudson: Taxes Were Shifted Off the Rich and Onto Homeowners

Michael Hudson: Donald Trump Wants to Make the 1% Even Richer (Part 2)

Chris Hedges: A Tax System Rigged for the Rich + America’s Biggest Tax Dodgers are Clinton’s Biggest Donors

Chris Hedges: The Cost of Austerity

Wealth Belongs To All Of Us – Not Just To The Rich by Dariel Garner

We Are So Poor Because They Are So Rich by Dariel Garner

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13 thoughts on “Richest 10% Control 89% of World’s Wealth

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  6. Roberts’s blog post uses way too many numbers. Puts me to sleep. The most important ideas are qualitative, not quantitative. For instance, the sentence “economic inequality is huge and increasing” doesn’t use any numbers at all.

    The 6-minute 2012 video “Wealth Inequality in America” did a fairly good job of using graphics to make the numbers more understandable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

  7. This video gives the impression that inequality has only been growing recently. I don’t think that’s true. I think that inequality has almost always been growing.

    Thomas Piketty said something similar in his 2013 economics book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” He said that the normal state of affairs for capitalism is that inequality increases. He explained that it’s because normally r>g. That is, the rate of return on investments is greater than the rate of growth of the overall economy. Actually, his explanation is much more complicated than that, but r>g is sort of the highlight.

    Of course, there was an exception — the so-called “golden age of capitalism,” around 1945 to 1971. Mainstream economists convinced themselves that this period was typical of “mature” capitalism, and the less pleasant behavior we’ve had since then was an aberration. Piketty — who based his reasoning on a huge mountain of historical data — said that actually the “golden age” was an aberration caused by aftereffects of World War 2, and increasing inequality is the norm for capitalism, over the centuries that his data covers.

    I find it strange that Piketty himself still prefers capitalism over the alternatives. He thinks that we can fix the problem of inequality by taxing wealth (not just income, as in present systems). I don’t think the wealthy will permit that, and they’re the ones who have the power, and I think they always will be, as long as the institution of private property continues to exist.

    My own theory is much simpler than Piketty’s, and applies to not just capitalism, but every economic system since private property began 10,000 years ago. Of course, my theory is not backed up by any data. Here is my theory:

    First, it can all be explained in terms of trade. Employment is just trading money for labor, and rent is just trading money for space, so it’s all trade.

    Voluntary trade appears harmless, and may even benefit both traders in the short run. (That’s why “libertarians” praise it so much.) But it gives greater benefit to the trader who is in the stronger bargaining position, and so it makes him stronger still, and thereby increases inequality.

    And that’s my whole theory. Simple, isn’t it?

    Here’s what puzzles me: With my theory being so simple, I would expect that either a lot of people would agree with me, or someone would give me a simple explanation of how I’m wrong. But neither has happened yet.

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