Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

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Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:32 pm

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Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world
As World Economic Forum starts in Davos, development charity claims that growing inequality has been driven by a 'power grab' by wealthy elites

The world's wealthiest people aren't known for travelling by bus, but if they fancied a change of scene then the richest 85 people on the globe – who between them control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together – could squeeze onto a single double-decker.

The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called 'global elite' is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world's population.

The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110tn (£60.88tn), or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world, added the development charity, which fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

It's a chilling reminder of the depths of wealth inequality as political leaders and top business people head to the snowy peaks of Davos for this week's World Economic Forum. Few, if any, will be arriving on anything as common as a bus, with private jets and helicoptors pressed into service as many of the world's most powerful people convene to discuss the state of the global economy over four hectic days of meetings, seminars and parties in the exclusive ski resort.

Winnie Byanyima, the Oxfam executive director who will attend the Davos meetings, said: "It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world's population – that's three and a half billion people – own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus."

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.

In the report, entitled Working For The Few (summary here), Oxfam warned that the fight against poverty cannot be won until wealth inequality has been tackled.

"Widening inequality is creating a vicious circle where wealth and power are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs from the top table," Byanyima said.

Oxfam called on attendees at this week's World Economic Forum to take a personal pledge to tackle the problem by refraining from dodging taxes or using their wealth to seek political favours.

As well as being morally dubious, economic inequality can also exacerbate other social problems such as gender inequality, Oxfam warned. Davos itself is also struggling in this area, with the number of female delegates actually dropping from 17% in 2013 to 15% this year.

How richest use their wealth to capture opportunites

Polling for Oxfam's report found people in countries around the world - including two-thirds of those questioned in Britain - believe that the rich have too much influence over the direction their country is heading.

Byanyima explained:

"In developed and developing countries alike we are increasingly living in a world where the lowest tax rates, the best health and education and the opportunity to influence are being given not just to the rich but also to their children.

"Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations. We will soon live in a world where equality of opportunity is just a dream. In too many countries economic growth already amounts to little more than a 'winner takes all' windfall for the richest."
Working for the Few - Oxfam report Source: F. Alvaredo, A. B. Atkinson, T. Piketty and E. Saez, (2013) ‘The World Top Incomes Database’, http://topincomes.g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/ Only includes countries with data in 1980 and later than 2008. Photograph: Oxfam

The Oxfam report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favour on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, anti-competitive business practices to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the report.

This "capture of opportunities" by the rich at the expense of the poor and middle classes has led to a situation where 70% of the world's population live in countries where inequality has increased since the 1980s and 1% of families own 46% of global wealth - almost £70tn.

Opinion polls in Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa, the US, UK and Netherlands found that a majority in each country believe that wealthy people exert too much influence. Concern was strongest in Spain, followed by Brazil and India and least marked in the Netherlands.

In the UK, some 67% agreed that "the rich have too much influence over where this country is headed" - 37% saying that they agreed "strongly" with the statement - against just 10% who disagreed, 2% of them strongly.

The WEF's own Global Risks report recently identified widening income disparities as one of the biggest threats to the world community.

Oxfam is calling on those gathered at WEF to pledge: to support progressive taxation and not dodge their own taxes; refrain from using their wealth to seek political favours that undermine the democratic will of their fellow citizens; make public all investments in companies and trusts for which they are the ultimate beneficial owners; challenge governments to use tax revenue to provide universal healthcare, education and social protection; demand a living wage in all companies they own or control; and challenge other members of the economic elite to join them in these pledges.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world

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I think that is statistic shows exactly what is wrong with this world. In the end, people simply won't stand for it and will take matters into their own hands, and the rich will call them terrorists.

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:41 pm

I can only respect many self made millionaires/billionaires.....'self made' I emphasise.As there are those who create lots of long term jobs & who also keep many people in jobs who cater for the rich......Good luck to that sort of rich person.

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by *THE Ben Reilly* on Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:59 pm

Shady wrote:I can only respect many self made millionaires/billionaires.....'self made' I emphasise.As there are those who create lots of long term jobs & who also keep many people in jobs who cater for the rich......Good luck to that sort of rich person.

Yeah, there's a big difference. I have nothing but support for people like J.K. Rowling, who started on the dole and made her money in a non-exploitative way -- AND is so generous to the needy.

The whole "socialists are just jealous" thing is just a strawman attack anyway; I can't believe people fall for it.

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:01 pm

Ben_Reilly wrote:
Shady wrote:I can only respect many self made millionaires/billionaires.....'self made' I emphasise.As there are those who create lots of long term jobs & who also keep many people in jobs who cater for the rich......Good luck to that sort of rich person.

Yeah, there's a big difference. I have nothing but support for people like J.K. Rowling, who started on the dole and made her money in a non-exploitative way -- AND is so generous to the needy.

The whole "socialists are just jealous" thing is just a strawman attack anyway; I can't believe people fall for it.

Only the stupid not only fall for it, but use it, regularly lol

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:26 pm

So what do you think people like JK Rowling should do with their cash?

And what about the self made billionaire who isn't a crook,pays his/her taxes & has made jobs for hundreds of people? Force them to hand over all their money for the needy?

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Original Quill on Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:27 pm

It's my philosophy that people don't own the money.  They didn't make it.  The wealth that some are able to get, came 9/10ths owing to society, 1/10th owing to the person's sole efforts.  They were just on the right track when the train came along.

I think capitalism and the accumulation of wealth are perversions, and I'm sorry that political/economic theorists came up with the idea.  Smithsonian ideas led to the notion of economic individualism which has stunted the development of social theory--the true economic and political state of man.  This is particularly true in America, which has yet to go through a phase of socialism.

History will note that Obama was the first modern leader in this country to broach this issue, when he said "you didn't build that...society did".

And look at the religious fervor that arose when he said that.  Not that I want to engage in schadenfreude, but the old white men shuddered when he said that.

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:41 pm

Shady wrote:So what do you think people like JK Rowling should do with their cash?

And what about the self made billionaire who isn't a crook,pays his/her taxes & has made jobs for hundreds of people? Force them to hand over all their money for the needy?

Exactly what she is doing:


J.K. Rowling's charity giving knocks her off Forbes' billionaires list
Author of the 'Harry Potter' series is no longer in the billionaires' club — thanks to simply being an incredible person.
http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/jk-rowlings-charity-giving-knocks-her-off-forbes-billionaires-list


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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by *THE Ben Reilly* on Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:46 pm

Shady wrote:So what do you think people like JK Rowling should do with their cash?

And what about the self made billionaire who isn't a crook,pays his/her taxes & has made jobs for hundreds of people? Force them to hand over all their money for the needy?

Just to add to Sassy's comment, J.K. also made a political decision not to move from the U.K. in order to dodge paying her taxes.

Why would you think I'd "force them to hand over all their money for the needy"; what kind of person do you think I am? I have no problem with people being rich, not even really rich, but when you have more money than you could ever spend and you just hoard it, you're either self-centered or completely oblivious to the problems you could be helping to solve.

I think countries should tax the wealthy at a higher proportion than the rest of society, at a level that is appropriate for the maintenance of a good GINI coefficient, which I've said before is proven to have many positive effects on a nation:

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/rising-inequality-most-important-problem-says-nobel-winning-economist/article_a5065957-05c3-5ac0-ba5b-dab91c22973a.html

Equality of outcome is a ridiculous pipe-dream, but we could do so much more for equality of opportunity. Here in the States, schools are funded by taxes collected from the local vicinties of the schools, known as school districts. Thus, schools in poor areas receive far less funding than schools in rich areas. The children of the wealthy have the advantage from childhood in that respect -- and many others.

There's a reason the poor are sometimes called the "disadvantaged" -- because they lack advantages held by wealthy people. Wealthy people tend to grow up with successful role models to look up to, to learn from and to eventually work for, where poor people don't usually have any of those advantages.

We should spend the same amount educating every child in the U.S. We should have a higher tax on inheritances, and the tax should go to pay for more educational opportunities, especially for people from poorer backgrounds.

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Irn Bru on Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:21 pm

J K Rowling never forgot her roots from being a single mum on benefits writing her first book sitting daily in a cafe in Edinburgh. She knows what it's like and her donations to charity are well known and she has earned a lot of respect for that.

Well done JK.

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:27 pm

Bit different to those of here whinging on about how much tax they pay and how those who need help are scroungers. That's a lady with class, I doubt the whingers even know what real class is.

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Irn Bru on Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:30 pm

Sassy wrote:Bit different to those of here whinging on about how much tax they pay and how those who need help are scroungers.   That's a lady with class, I doubt the whingers even know what real class is.

She popped a £million into the coffers of Labour a couple of years ago. Mass hysteria broke out in the ranks of the Tory bloggers threatening book-burning sessions and banning their kids from reading them.

Really got their hackles up.  Smile 

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:31 pm

Irn Bru wrote:
Sassy wrote:Bit different to those of here whinging on about how much tax they pay and how those who need help are scroungers.   That's a lady with class, I doubt the whingers even know what real class is.

She popped a £million into the coffers of Labour a couple of years ago. Mass hysteria broke out in the ranks of the Tory bloggers threatening book-burning sessions and banning their kids from reading them.

Really got their hackles up.  Smile 

 lol! lol! lol! 

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by veya_victaous on Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:08 pm

Shady wrote:So what do you think people like JK Rowling should do with their cash?

And what about the self made billionaire who isn't a crook,pays his/her taxes & has made jobs for hundreds of people? Force them to hand over all their money for the needy?

IF they pay their taxes their isn't a problem the problem is SO many do not want to pay for the system that allowed them to make/maintain some much wealth(it does seem to be worse in Inherited wealth). It is only Fair that those that are getting the most benifit(i.e the wealthy) pay the most to maintain the society that says those pieces of paper and Numbers, that give them power, mean anything at all.

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by *THE Ben Reilly* on Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:44 pm

veya_victaous wrote:
Shady wrote:So what do you think people like JK Rowling should do with their cash?

And what about the self made billionaire who isn't a crook,pays his/her taxes & has made jobs for hundreds of people? Force them to hand over all their money for the needy?

IF they pay their taxes their isn't a problem the problem is SO many do not want to pay for the system that allowed them to make/maintain some much wealth(it does seem to be worse in Inherited wealth).  It is only Fair that those that are getting the most benifit(i.e the wealthy) pay the most to maintain the society that says those pieces of paper and Numbers,  that give them power, mean anything at all.

I liken it to a prime piece of real estate. If you were to rent a business office in some place like a posh section of Sydney, London or New York City, you'd expect to pay very high rates. But the reason you'd be renting it in the first place is because that's where your business would be making a shitboat of money.

To me, wealthy people whining about their taxes is like someone demanding to make that shitboat of money out of that posh Sydney/London/NYC office -- but without paying the rent for it. Why would you expect to have access to that kind of market without paying the rent?

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Re: Richest 85 PEOPLE own as much as HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION

Post by veya_victaous on Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:49 pm

@ben
Exactly, As much as they go one about economics they all seem to want is free ride, damn those rich scroungers
Wink Wink Wink Wink

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