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article imageOp-Ed: 85 people richer than half of world's population- Oxfam

By Paul Wallis     Jan 20, 2014 in World
Sydney - If Oxfam’s research is correct, the world’s economy is a lot more inefficient than anyone ever dreamed. This isn’t about “distribution of wealth”, it’s about access to wealth, and it’s a very ugly picture.
85 people apparently have access nobody else has.
Sydney Morning Herald
The report shows the wealth of the 1 per cent richest people in the world is worth about $110 trillion, 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world's population.
It also shows the world's richest 85 people control about $1.7 trillion in wealth, equivalent to the bottom half of the world's population.
… In the US, the wealthiest 1 per cent of the population grabbed 95 per cent of post-financial crisis growth between 2009 and 2012, while the bottom 90 per cent became poorer.
Business Insider:
Oxfam also argues that this is no accident either, saying growing inequality has been driven by a "power grab" by wealthy elites, who have co-opted the political process to rig the rules of the economic system in their favour.
(Or, to put it another way, the endlessly pandering policies and practices put in place by all Western governments since the Thatcher/Reagan years.)
A few observations at this point
These 85 people are worth on average, say, $190 billion, each.
Their wealth is their “official” wealth, the wealth that they’re known to have, not necessarily their full range of assets.
The Economic Times:
"Wealthy elites have co-opted political power to rig the rules of the economic game, undermining democracy and creating a world where the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world's population," Oxfam claimed.
It further added that since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 of the 30 countries for which data are available, meaning that in many places the rich not only get more money but also pay less tax on it
The politics of this economic profile aren’t exactly a mystery. It’s basically a result of corruption and a compliant political system which has long since failed to represent anything but the wealthy.
This is the real global conspiracy in its party dress, in many ways. A shabby, shoddy, pantomime of democracy based on greed. No totalitarian state, no goose-stepping accountants, no foaming at the mouth dictators, just ridiculous media campaigns and more greed.
85 idiots
Now some questions:
Does it matter who these 85 idiots are? Not really.
Yes, idiots.
In the same time as this rise to glory have come increases in prices which effectively mean that their $200 billion each is worth approximately $40 billion of 1970s money. Their own methods have debased their wealth.
They have simultaneously reduced/denied access to wealth for the rest of the world’s population. That means people have less money to buy their products and services, and make them richer. That’s basic capitalism 101, and they’ve got it wrong.
They have allowed themselves to be identified. That’s a big and very basic no-no for the very rich. They’re now the easiest targets on Earth for any kind of physical, financial, political, or social attacks. Both they and their assets are extremely vulnerable.
They’re dependent on others. They can hire and fire as much as they want, but ultimately they have to trust people with their money and assets. Bernie Madoff and a host of others have made it clear how safe that is. Greed goes where the money goes. So does crime. It’s a very unsafe situation.
These are the Czars of the early 21st century. Distribution of wealth, that very much misinterpreted phrase, was the basis of just about every revolution in history. Distribution of wealth, ironically in its incorrect form, is considered social injustice, with a lot of good reason. It’s visible injustice to others, therefore it’s the basis for attacks.
They are now, by default, “responsible” for the state and endless mistakes and miseries of the global economy by default. They’re running things, therefore everything that goes wrong is their fault. It often is, too.
They’ve done themselves no favors in terms of public image. The 1% is seen, with a lot of justification, as a collection of obnoxious brattish geriatrics, out of touch with the world, paying for policies which are nothing but destructive. They’re seen as lacking class, which is all too obvious, lacking ethics, and lacking any sort of human qualities. They’re rich, and that’s becoming the crime of crimes.
The 1% have made themselves the perceived enemies of the world. That’s not a very safe place to be. Anyone attacking the 1% will now be politically popular. Anyone demanding attacks on their wealth will become an overnight saint.
A few predictable developments:
Assassinations and extortion, the usual practices since time began.
Corruption cases leading to “revelations” regarding the very rich.
Cyber-attacks on a massive scale.
Attacks on their corporations.
Attacks on their staff.
Attacks on their assets.
Litigation uber alles, they can be sued for anything and everything.
All the security in the world, literally, can’t prevent these things. A lot of poor people with time on their hands and nothing to lose can’t be stopped, another lesson from history.
The New World Disorder
These super-rich have another issue, which they’ve proven themselves, time and again, to be totally unable to manage.
They’re not exactly experts in terms of global issues, beyond their own interests. That much has been obvious for decades. Every major global issue in recent times has been totally mismanaged. It also means that global issues will continue to be mismanaged on a routine basis, simply because they’re calling the shots.
The tipping point will come when total failure becomes obvious. Even allowing for the unbelievable cowardice and corruption of American media and political organizations, Lincoln was basically right in another way- When the people are fooled, they’re not inclined to be merciful.
Rich they may be, but hell is just a few blocks away, everywhere on Earth.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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