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The 1% grabbed 82% of all wealth created in 2017

Posted by on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:14 AM
  • 147 Replies
Four out of every five dollars of wealth generated in 2017 ended up in the pockets of the richest one percent, while the poorest half of humanity got nothing, a report published by Oxfam found on Monday.

As global political and business leaders gather for this week’s World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the charity’s report highlights a global system that rewards the super-rich and neglects the poor.

It found that 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world saw no increase in their wealth in 2017, while 82 percent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent of the global population.

“(It) reveals how our economies are rewarding wealth rather than the hard work of millions of people,” Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s executive director, told Reuters Television.


“The few at the top get richer and richer and the millions at the bottom are trapped in poverty wages.”

Byanyima blamed “tax dodging” as a major cause of global inequality and urged leaders to clamp down on tax havens and plough money into education, healthcare and jobs for young people.

In particular, Byanyima criticised U.S. President Donald Trump, who is attending the World Economic Forum, for creating “a cabinet of billionaires” and implementing tax legislation that she said rewarded the super-rich, not ordinary Americans.

The annual report by Oxfam found that the number of billionaires rose at a rate of one every two days between March 2016 and March 2017, while in the United States the three richest people own the same wealth as the poorest half of the population.

Oxfam said that women workers were worst hit by global inequality as they consistently earn less than men and usually have lower paid and more insecure forms of work.

The World Economic Forum has previously estimated that it would take 217 years before women earn as much as men and have equal representation in the workplace.

According to the 2017 Forbes rich list, the five richest people on the planet are all men – from Microsoft’s Bill Gates, to veteran investor Warren Buffett, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Inditex founder Amancio Ortega and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

“The economic model is not working at all,” Oxfam report co-author, Iñigo Macías Aymar, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “The way this wealth is being distributed we are really worried, it’s being concentrated in fewer hands.”

Oxfam called for all workers to receive a minimum living wage, the elimination of the gender pay gap and tougher rules to crackdown on tax avoidance.

http://time.com/5111971/billionaires-global-inequality-income-oxfam-wealth/
by on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:14 AM
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Bookwormy
by Ruby Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:29 AM
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I honestly am surprised it wasn't 90%. Shameful, and shameful that the bottom went out of their way to help the top 1% elect a 1% elitist.

Something I actually sort of liked about Sanders was that he had been dirt poor. I am solidly middle class now but I was raised dirt poor and working poor. I remember being uninsured. I remember being hungry and malnourished. I remember not having the appropriate clothing. We never had a vehicle, a house, etc. Sanders had at one point lived this life, as a single parent no less.
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:32 AM
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It doesn't surprise me at all.

Rich people tend to have a higher percentage of their assets in the stock market, and that's gone up.

They also have the leverage needed to get better interests rates out of bankers.

They have financial advisers, and so are less likely to miss opportunities, or get caught with their pants down by regulatory or other changes.

They have a disproportionate influence upon the legislation that gets passed, so that tends to look after the interests of the rich.

They are also more likely to marry and socialise with other rich people, their parents and children are more likely to be rich than average.    They get to take advantage of network effects, bulk efficiency, picking quality over low price, re-using hereditary assets, and other effects.   Dynasties get to build long term generational trust arrangements with institutions and companies.   They know who to call.   They can afford lawyers, so they are less likely to get screwed over by companies looking for victims, or by small print on contracts.

They rarely have to take out loans.   And when they do, they have assets to secure them, so get better rates.

Better health care means they live longer.   Better educations help make good decisions.    They have longer to work at good jobs, if they don't have to work a crap job to earn enough to go to university.    They can afford to take risks, starting up not just one company, but a second one if the first fails, without spending decades raising money.


Or course, in the current system, they get to keep most of the new wealth generated.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:35 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Clairwil:

Or course, in the current system, they get to keep most of the new wealth generated.

How much of those gains should society allow them to keep?

How much of those gains is it healthy for society to allow them to keep?

Is it too late to change it?   Have they already got an undefeatable lock on the legislative process?

M4LG5
by Gold Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:36 AM
3 moms liked this
I grew up working poor as well. My dad was in construction and its not always that they had work for him and sometimes he couldnt work due to injury or weather. Neither of my parents went to college.

For me, I knew I "made it" when I got a job WITH insurance.

If a politician doesn't have that experience of the poor or working poor...either because he/she was there themselves or have worked within this environment...i don't think they have the ability to make sound decisions on behalf of this group.


Quoting Bookwormy: I honestly am surprised it wasn't 90%. Shameful, and shameful that the bottom went out of their way to help the top 1% elect a 1% elitist.

Something I actually sort of liked about Sanders was that he had been dirt poor. I am solidly middle class now but I was raised dirt poor and working poor. I remember being uninsured. I remember being hungry and malnourished. I remember not having the appropriate clothing. We never had a vehicle, a house, etc. Sanders had at one point lived this life, as a single parent no less.
Susan_Marie1984
by Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:39 AM
4 moms liked this
This is pretty simple... You get paid for the work you do... not what you think you are entitled to. If you think otherwise, move to another country.
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:40 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting Clairwil:

Have they already got an undefeatable lock on the legislative process?

In some countries, yes.    In some countries, no.

In America?   Not sure.

If the legislative system could be changed to get laws being drafted by professional civil servants, rather than by politicians and think tanks, to weed out the obscure riders get that added to pander to different groups, that would help.

Term limits, rolling back gerrymandering, and campaign spending limits would also help.   It ought to be not only possible but easy to get elected without having to sell out to single issue PACs.

But asking for politicians benefitting from the current system to change it, would be like asking for Turkeys to vote for Christmas.   (Well, in the USA I guess that's "Vote for Thanksgiving").

romalove
by Roma on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:41 AM
7 moms liked this
That's not how this works at all. If you think that the wealthy people are working for all of that money you are truly misinformed. Having wealth gets you more wealth.

Quoting Susan_Marie1984: This is pretty simple... You get paid for the work you do... not what you think you are entitled to. If you think otherwise, move to another country.
Susan_Marie1984
by Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:42 AM
4 moms liked this
Then learn to invest in the right stocks.

Quoting romalove: That's not how this works at all. If you think that the wealthy people are working for all of that money you are truly misinformed. Having wealth gets you more wealth.

Quoting Susan_Marie1984: This is pretty simple... You get paid for the work you do... not what you think you are entitled to. If you think otherwise, move to another country.
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:45 AM
7 moms liked this


Quoting Susan_Marie1984: This is pretty simple... You get paid for the work you do... not what you think you are entitled to. If you think otherwise, move to another country.

Paid employment is only one component of wealth gain.

And, even then, how much salary someone get for doing a particular job is more determined by supply-and-demand (or, at board level, often by cronyism), than by how much someone deserves or how much it would benefit society to pay them.

And moving country isn't an answer - the Oxfam report was about the global situation.

Telling individual people who think it doesn't help society to permit the rich to grab that disproportionate amount, "well, if you think you aren't grabbing an unfair amount yourself, move to somewhere where you too can get to screw over those poorer than you", isn't addressing the problem.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:48 AM
8 moms liked this


Quoting Susan_Marie1984: Then learn to invest in the right stocks.

As it happens, I have invested in 'the right stocks'.   Despite Brexit I have, over all, done rather nicely from the stock market over the last few years.

But that doesn't alter my opinion that the system is broken.

And, no, you don't get to respond "Well, if you think the poor should have more money, then give your own money away".    THAT DOESN'T ADDRESS THE SYSTEMATIC PROBLEM.

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