One For All

One For All

richandpoorHave you noticed? Income inequality is a hot issue. Ok, try this one. How many billionaires’ net worth equals half the rest of the world?

14000? Maybe be bold and guess 765?

How about… 62.

Kenyan commentator Rasna Warah called this yesterday “a new extreme.”

It’s tough enough when a Kenyan realizes that his country’s entire GDP isn’t even as great as Chicago’s, but inequality like this converts disbelief into abject anger.

It’s no longer a matter of understandable time, time for development, time for industrialization. The collection of wealth among a few individuals has occurred with lightning speed.

In 2010 it was 388 individuals. Five years later, it’s 62, despite the fact that the world’s overall economy has grown substantially in those five years.

The collection of wealth in so few hands is terrifying.

“In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake,” Oxfam’s chief executive told the Guardian newspaper.

It is the respectable organization Oxfam that published the report several weeks ago.

I find it equally terrifying that I wasn’t able to learn about this from my own media. This strikes me as absolutely astounding: A commentator in Kenya that brought it to my attention.

It’s impossible to presume any logical fairness created this division. It’s just not statistically possible. Even 62 Big Blues would not be able to corner the market or coral capitalism to this level of advantage.

Oxfam, and I, believe it is structural within capitalism, and this is the reason that capitalism needs regulation. We’ve gone through a period of hyper deregulation, and this is the result.

More than $7.6 trillion of wealthy individuals’ net worth is held in off-shore tax havens.

On the one hand you can’t begrudge a wealthy person making herself wealthier. But the loopholes that allow this to occur, allow it to be freed of taxation, is often the result of the wealthy directing politics.

“These elites and über-rich individuals — and often their corporations — exploit the system for personal benefit in a way not possible for the rest of us,” one South African publication claims.

The ability of the wealthy to now direct history is mind-blowing.

Thanks to some Kenyans for letting me know. Clearly it’s not something the 62 want announced just yet.

But when is the horrible question.