This longish report will be divided into two parts. Today the first part of the report is presented accompanied by a brief introduction.
Tomorrow, we’ll have a look at the second half of the article. Also included will be my take on the whole article.
This report was recently published in the Sydney Herald. It is intended as a follow up to yesterday’s (Monday’s) Juicy Lesson which examined some of the work of the author Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) and pondered the following question: Is Dr. Thompson’s radical, leftist philosophy with its frequent rants against the basic inequality which is a significant factor in contemporary society still relevant in our modern world, or does reading about or hearing it simply turn us off?
Any society which functions apparently so as to advantage the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the less wealthy and less powerful cries out to be corrected no matter when these cries surface nor when they are finally heard. Therefore I hold firm in my conviction that Dr. Thompson’s work is as relevant now as it ever was and that if reading or hearing about it turns us off, then it is not the philosophical bent of Thompson’s work that needs corrective surgery, but the minds of the people hearing about or engrossed in the reading of it although maybe “engrossed” is not the correct word because if you could actually become “engrossed” in the work in the first place, then your attitude would not require correction.
Yesterday we looked at how one-sided the exercise of power has been in the United States especially with relevance to what was going on in the American political mosaic especially in the latter sixties-early seventies period. Today we’ll have a look at inequality in the distribution of wealth in the contemporary world in an effort to show that what Hunter S. Thompson spoke out against fifty years ago – the exploitation of the common person by the wealthy amongst us for one thing – is still occurring today on a regular basis and continues to provide the dialectic which moves our world. As I have already said, tomorrow I will present the remainder of this article as well as providing commentary on the contents of this piece as a whole which comes to us courtesy of “The Digital Journal” and the “Sydney Herald”.
Eighty-five people apparently have access nobody else has.
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.
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.
Much more on this most damning report tomorrow.
Definitely food for some serious thought.
Over and Peace Out