Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Sign in to follow this  
interestrateripoff

Oxfam: 85 Richest People As Wealthy As Half Of The World's Population

Recommended Posts

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

Global inequality has increased to the extent that the £1tn combined wealth of the 85 richest people is equal to that of the poorest 3.5 billion – half of the world's population – according to a new report from development charity Oxfam.

And the report, entitled Working For The Few, claims that 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.

Oxfam called on attendees at this week's World Economic Forum, which brings together politicians and business leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, to take a personal pledge to tackle the problem by refraining from dodging taxes or using their wealth to seek political favours.

Polling for the 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.

Oxfam chief executive Winnie Byanyima 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.

The wealth hoarders.

Still these talented individuals have earned it and these 3.5bn are clearly lazy.... :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The wealth hoarders.

Still these talented individuals have earned it and these 3.5bn are clearly lazy.... :ph34r:

And if we try and tax them they'll just run away to Mars One with all their wealth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if we try and tax them they'll just run away to Mars One with all their wealth.

I guess the better question should be comparing like-for-like. The 85 people are almost certainly from the richer West with the provision of schooling, healthcare and municipal services all provided through subsidised tax payer initiatives. They also no doubt provide thousands of jobs and create an eco-system that enables wealth creation though innovation. Among them, like any population, there will be a number of rentiers living of the wealth that their ancestors created - but any population will have a gradient of lazy to super entrepreneurial - even this rich one.

Most of the 3.5bn people mentioned struggle to access running water, electricity and medical care. They are unlikely to ever have the tools to own assets and become wealthier. Is that the fault of the 85 people? Its an unfair comparison showing the wider stranglehold of the poorer countries political system through illegitimate loans and military might. In all but name, poor countries in Africa and the East are occupied by Western nations through the threat of military and economic violence. Either withholding funding or flexing the CIA-like agencies to commit acts of war on the soil of other nations to bring about regime change that is beneficial to the status quo. These agencies are all paid for by us - the taxpayer.

The other interesting point to post is - what about all the undeclared wealthy? The Shah of Iran took about 100's of billions from Iran with a blessing from the CIA. Many dictators, politicians and despots have more oil/commodity/dodgy deal money than they can ever declare. I remember last year the newspapers reported a small town business man having $5bn worth of bearer bonds in his house in India with the aim to build "his dream of" a oil refinery off the coast of India. When asked where they came from police were investigating then the story vanished. $5bn would put you close to the top of the Times Rich List but apparently its not a story worth following up for the national media.... Or the guy who stole $1bn from the Afghanistan Central Bank....never heard from again...?

As much as we all complain about the system - we are all part of it and we all benefit from it in the Western World. Would you rather be born in Gabon or Britain? How much can we actually fight the system by pointing out that life isn't fair for all and never will be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Oxfam want to do something about inequality. They want ordinary British people to donate money to Oxfam so that they can continue to pay their Chief Executive a 6 figure salary plus multiple extras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.chronic-oldham.co.uk/ombcsalaries.html

Salaries as of July 2012 for the highest paid 53 employees of OMBC

Average salary plus allowances & employer pension contributions @ 17% for top 53 employees

£91,127.00

Just think how that boosts the average salary up a bit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Borough_of_Oldham

The average gross weekly income in the borough of Oldham is £297

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Oxfam want to do something about inequality. They want ordinary British people to donate money to Oxfam so that they can continue to pay their Chief Executive a 6 figure salary plus multiple extras.

Agree. Charity in this country makes no sense. To help the poorest why don't we set up community schemes IN the poorest countries and actually minimize the labour and use of services in the West to maximise the donation. Rather than give to Oxfam - it would probably be more beneficial to send a random person in Africa a little bit of money via M-Pesa. The electronic cash could be converted in to only certain types of goods/services and the local economy will begin to boom.

I had the same issue with Comic Relief. Its a noble cause and doing something is better than nothing but why isn't a portion of the programme filmed in Africa? We could build the studios, train the staff and give them experience in a skill which the world is desperate for. Movies will flock to areas of low taxation, low wages, beautiful landscapes and trained staff. Comic Relief could literally build an economy. There is nothing like lifting people out of poverty than asking them to perform roles that are required by wealthy countries. Having to fix problems like electricity and infrastructure themselves will also give them some idea of the best ways to spend donations - and spend them on services that are local instead of giving them to a temp agency to provide someone to move paper around in the UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the better question should be comparing like-for-like. The 85 people are almost certainly from the richer West with the provision of schooling, healthcare and municipal services all provided through subsidised tax payer initiatives. They also no doubt provide thousands of jobs and create an eco-system that enables wealth creation though innovation. Among them, like any population, there will be a number of rentiers living of the wealth that their ancestors created - but any population will have a gradient of lazy to super entrepreneurial - even this rich one.

That's got nothing to do with the distribution. Claiming that only elites can 'provide' jobs or 'create and eco-system. or 'innovation' is nonsense.

For the most part government entities are the innovators. Elites simply suck up the wealth generated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's got nothing to do with the distribution. Claiming that only elites can 'provide' jobs or 'create and eco-system. or 'innovation' is nonsense.

For the most part government entities are the innovators. Elites simply suck up the wealth generated.

Again. I'm sure there is cronyism in every population but you really can't argue that taking a random government invention and being able to successfully market it to global adoption is the same as government being innovators. Government gives "thinkers" luxury to think and ruminate without worrying about the bottom line all the time but successful adoption of innovation rarely comes from Government. They are generally not the first to use the latest technology (unless you count weapons) and certainly don't manage to gain usage through popularity (although they enforce it through regulation when it has been adopted).

We if suspend the bias in government vs private sector debate and look at another example - it's like saying windows graphical user interfaces would have flourished from the Xerox photocopy maker that invented it. No, it took drive, constant deal making and competitive evolution to turn it into a useful product. I agree that government can invest in ideas like no other private equity firm due to its deep pockets but it cannot pick the winner.

I'm picking a extreme case here. Those of the elite that got their funds simply through their family being friends with Royalty at the time e.g landowners and descendants of hoteliers to name a few, should undoubtedly be pushed to "get on their bike" and provide meaningful jobs and investment with their wealth in much the same way benefits claimants are urged to do. You can easily do this through taxation on land and inheritance. They must lead by example and look for investments to create wealth for their nation not just themselves. You should always have to take risk to be wealthy, that will create more innovation and drive us all forward. Distributing assets to those that never earned them will always be a recipe for disaster. Try doing it to your children and watch the result. You need to be thankful for what you have and work hard to get more if you want it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....but the important observation is can 85 people spend half the world's population wealth in a lifetime?.....or have those yet to be born of the richest, be born with many gold spoons in their mouths? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm picking a extreme case here. Those of the elite that got their funds simply through their family being friends with Royalty at the time e.g landowners and descendants of hoteliers to name a few, should undoubtedly be pushed to "get on their bike" and provide meaningful jobs and investment with their wealth in much the same way benefits claimants are urged to do. You can easily do this through taxation on land and inheritance. They must lead by example and look for investments to create wealth for their nation not just themselves. You should always have to take risk to be wealthy, that will create more innovation and drive us all forward. Distributing assets to those that never earned them will always be a recipe for disaster. Try doing it to your children and watch the result. You need to be thankful for what you have and work hard to get more if you want it.

Obama's $6trn internal devaluation has certainly been innovative for the very rich. The rest of America, sadly, not so much.

A couple of months ago on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” the host cited a recent University of California, Berkeley study called “Striking It Rich,” that documented 95% of United States income gains from 2009 to 2012 went to the top 1% of the earning population.

Cornered by the usually adoring Stephanopoulos, the President was forced to agree that during his Presidency the

“top 1% incomes grew by 31.4%, while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.4%.

Obama tried to spin the question by adding, “The folks in the middle and at the bottom haven’t seen wage or income growth, not just over the last three, four years, but over the last 15 years.”

But the President had no answer when it was pointed out that income inequality is 50% higher during his Administration than during the Bush Administration.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/12/Obama-s-Internal-Devaluation-Causes-Income-Inequality

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't these people know that the game of monopoly ends when one player ends up with most of the money and property?

If the 'real' economy is increasingly a debt driven hologram for how long will the illusion be maintained that the asset values of the rich are real?

To be fair I think they know this- after all Davos is knee deep in concerns about 'inequality'- but the problem is that free market capitalism is driven to create this inequality- on the basis that the more you have the more you can get by leveraging what you have.

There is no compelling reason to believe that this wealth concentration process will not continue as new technologies become available to capital which will further erode the bargaining power of labor- and no obvious way this process can be contained without truly radical innovations like a Citizens Wage which are still in the realms of fantasy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the better question should be comparing like-for-like. The 85 people are almost certainly from the richer West with the provision of schooling, healthcare and municipal services all provided through subsidised tax payer initiatives. They also no doubt provide thousands of jobs and create an eco-system that enables wealth creation though innovation. Among them, like any population, there will be a number of rentiers living of the wealth that their ancestors created - but any population will have a gradient of lazy to super entrepreneurial - even this rich one.

Most of the 3.5bn people mentioned struggle to access running water, electricity and medical care. They are unlikely to ever have the tools to own assets and become wealthier. Is that the fault of the 85 people? Its an unfair comparison showing the wider stranglehold of the poorer countries political system through illegitimate loans and military might. In all but name, poor countries in Africa and the East are occupied by Western nations through the threat of military and economic violence. Either withholding funding or flexing the CIA-like agencies to commit acts of war on the soil of other nations to bring about regime change that is beneficial to the status quo. These agencies are all paid for by us - the taxpayer.

The other interesting point to post is - what about all the undeclared wealthy? The Shah of Iran took about 100's of billions from Iran with a blessing from the CIA. Many dictators, politicians and despots have more oil/commodity/dodgy deal money than they can ever declare. I remember last year the newspapers reported a small town business man having $5bn worth of bearer bonds in his house in India with the aim to build "his dream of" a oil refinery off the coast of India. When asked where they came from police were investigating then the story vanished. $5bn would put you close to the top of the Times Rich List but apparently its not a story worth following up for the national media.... Or the guy who stole $1bn from the Afghanistan Central Bank....never heard from again...?

As much as we all complain about the system - we are all part of it and we all benefit from it in the Western World. Would you rather be born in Gabon or Britain? How much can we actually fight the system by pointing out that life isn't fair for all and never will be?

This bit is BS. Most of the wealth creation they did was when they were young and un-wealthy. If you were to ask them then if in the future instead of being worth 100 billion or 1 billion they ended up being worth 10 million, would it have stopped them or made them work less... the answer is a resounding no.

Look at google now even. How much wealth does larry page himself actually create? If he disappeared off the face of the earth would google cease to exist? Would it cease to innovate? Again a resounding no.

We would all be much much better off if that wealth was spread much more evenly. It would enable the locked up and frustrated talents of so many of our citizens to be unleashed. It's no coincidence that growth rates in western states are now on average much lower than the 50's, 60's and 70's.

So please don't give us the self-serving wealth creator bull**** because it's just bull****. We grew faster as a nation when they didn't exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again. I'm sure there is cronyism in every population but you really can't argue that taking a random government invention and being able to successfully market it to global adoption is the same as government being innovators. Government gives "thinkers" luxury to think and ruminate without worrying about the bottom line all the time but successful adoption of innovation rarely comes from Government. They are generally not the first to use the latest technology (unless you count weapons) and certainly don't manage to gain usage through popularity (although they enforce it through regulation when it has been adopted).

We if suspend the bias in government vs private sector debate and look at another example - it's like saying windows graphical user interfaces would have flourished from the Xerox photocopy maker that invented it. No, it took drive, constant deal making and competitive evolution to turn it into a useful product. I agree that government can invest in ideas like no other private equity firm due to its deep pockets but it cannot pick the winner.

I'm picking a extreme case here. Those of the elite that got their funds simply through their family being friends with Royalty at the time e.g landowners and descendants of hoteliers to name a few, should undoubtedly be pushed to "get on their bike" and provide meaningful jobs and investment with their wealth in much the same way benefits claimants are urged to do. You can easily do this through taxation on land and inheritance. They must lead by example and look for investments to create wealth for their nation not just themselves. You should always have to take risk to be wealthy, that will create more innovation and drive us all forward. Distributing assets to those that never earned them will always be a recipe for disaster. Try doing it to your children and watch the result. You need to be thankful for what you have and work hard to get more if you want it.

If bill gates would have ended up being worth 100 million after inventing windows instead of billions, and knew it beforehand, would he have said "screw it it's not worth it"? Yes or no answer please.....

Oh and people are not saying bill gates should not be worth a lot of money, but that he should not be worth 60 billion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This bit is BS. Most of the wealth creation they did was when they were young and un-wealthy. If you were to ask them then if in the future instead of being worth 100 billion or 1 billion they ended up being worth 10 million, would it have stopped them or made them work less... the answer is a resounding no.

Exactly.

The motivations for these people are much more complex than just money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This bit is BS. Most of the wealth creation they did was when they were young and un-wealthy. If you were to ask them then if in the future instead of being worth 100 billion or 1 billion they ended up being worth 10 million, would it have stopped them or made them work less... the answer is a resounding no.

Look at google now even. How much wealth does larry page himself actually create? If he disappeared off the face of the earth would google cease to exist? Would it cease to innovate? Again a resounding no.

We would all be much much better off if that wealth was spread much more evenly. It would enable the locked up and frustrated talents of so many of our citizens to be unleashed. It's no coincidence that growth rates in western states are now on average much lower than the 50's, 60's and 70's.

So please don't give us the self-serving wealth creator bull**** because it's just bull****. We grew faster as a nation when they didn't exist.

I guess the growth is buggered because of carrying cost of increasing debt in an energy-expensive economy.

But also this - the banned TED talk:

Edited by okaycuckoo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This bit is BS. Most of the wealth creation they did was when they were young and un-wealthy...

Er, what wealth creation?

Most of these people haven't created any more 'wealth' than anyone else.

Many have actively destroyed wealth - the real estate 'investors', the appropriators of oil and other resources.

Even if we take the Larry Pages, Bill Gates and James Dysons - the small minority who have made real, positive, contributions - they are rewarded disproportionately for what are actually small incremental improvements. In most cases, the real innovators are the teams of anonymous technicians or artists who work for big firms or universities.

Without Google, there would still be search engines and the internet, and all the rest of it. Without Bill Gates (who may have contributed to DOS, but Windows?) we'd just be using a derivative of CP/M, or OS2, or UNIX, or the Apple OS, or whatever. For the most part, the economy would be negligibly different. Without Dyson, we'd still have vacuum cleaners and hand dryers in public toilets.

And where do we get this idea that wealth has anything to do with innovation?

What did Philip Green claim to invent? What did Richard Branson claim to invent?

The entire 'ubermensch' narrative is a self-serving creation myth for a ruling elite. 'We're in charge because of our great works so be grateful'. It's as ridiculous as suggesting that Winston Churchill won the second-world war.

The reality is that the world's Billionaires have grabbed control of an economic or political niche, through luck, skill, or nefarious means, and use that power to make themselves rich.

If Atlas shrugged, no-one would notice, which is why it never happens. We don't need them, they need us.

Edited by (Blizzard)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Er, what wealth creation?

Most of these people haven't created any more 'wealth' than anyone else.

Many have actively destroyed wealth - the real estate 'investors', the appropriators of oil and other resources.

Even if we take the Larry Pages, Bill Gates and James Dysons - the small minority who have made real, positive, contributions - they are rewarded disproportionately for what are actually small incremental improvements. In most cases, the real innovators are the teams of anonymous technicians or artists who work for big firms or universities.

Without Google, there would still be search engines and the internet, and all the rest of it. Without Bill Gates (who may have contributed to DOS, but Windows?) we'd just be using a derivative of CP/M, or OS2, or UNIX, or the Apple OS, or whatever. For the most part, the economy would be negligibly different.

And where do we get this idea that wealth has anything to do with innovation? What did Philip Green invent? What did Richard Branson invent?

The entire 'ubermensch' narrative is a self-serving creation myth for a ruling elite. 'We're in charge because of our great works be grateful'. It's as ridiculous as suggesting that Winston Churchill won the second-world war.

The reality is that the world's Billionaires have grabbed control of an economic or political niche, through luck, skill, or nefarious means, and use that power to make themselves rich.

If Atlas shrugged, no-one would notice, which is why it never happens. We don't need them, they need us.

Yeah. I'm only talking about the small minority who actually created wealth, for the time period they actually created wealth. The rest of your post I took as a given.

Edited by alexw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the growth is buggered because of carrying cost of increasing debt in an energy-expensive economy.

But also this - the banned TED talk:

I think the elites are finally cottoning on to the fact that demand is the true job creator. My belief is that its one of the main reasons inequality is such a big topic globally for them right now (the other is how it is feeding a growing likelihood of revolution or political regime change). I think they don't give a toss if most people are poor, but they do want growing healthy economies and they are finally realizing that that won't occur without demand, and that means less of the inequality that is destroying demand.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/10584384/Global-unemployment-on-rise-despite-economic-recovery.html

"We believe that employment needs to be put at the centre of international policy-making. There is a clear linkage between these unacceptable levels of unemployment in the world, and growing inequality," he added, noting that inequality functions as a "brake on growth".

A global labour market recovery is being held back by a shortfall in demand, the ILO said, noting that in many developed economies, cuts in public spending and increases in income and consumption taxes were weighing heavily on businesses and households. "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will we see a split at some point between the financial elite and the industrial elite- the former need to create debt to grow their profits while the latter see that debt burden eroding theirs.

In that sense the banksters and the business owners are not aligned in their interests- the more that the financial sector expands it's empire of debt the smaller territory remains for those business's that depend on disposable income to survive. So the 1% are not a homogeneous group despite their wealth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the elites are finally cottoning on to the fact that demand is the true job creator. My belief is that its one of the main reasons inequality is such a big topic globally for them right now (the other is how it is feeding a growing likelihood of revolution or political regime change). I think they don't give a toss if most people are poor, but they do want growing healthy economies and they are finally realizing that that won't occur without demand, and that means less of the inequality that is destroying demand.

Didn't Henry Ford get this? The smart trick is that now you can simply load the workers up with debt rather than pay them a decent wage.

I think the elite would like jobs, or welfare, to be created to stop revolution and to buy their stuff - but they don't see why they should pay for it.

Frightening that $4/day now makes you part of the global middle class:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/20/new-middle-classes-world-poor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This bit is BS. Most of the wealth creation they did was when they were young and un-wealthy.

I would guess the 85 richest individuals on the planet were never unwealthy.

Not as rich certainly, but you need money to make money. Very often these days the more you have the more you'll make.

I should imagine most have monopolised property and/or resources using previously inherited property/resources.

They'll be exceptions of course (they might have nicked the resources in the first place through something a bit dodgy in Eastern Europe/Russia). They'll also be a few "tech" rich whose ideas have generated their wealth (although they've probably attained this through some degree of monopolization of their particular marketplace).

For the most part though they'll have just had a head start and then had the resources to take advantage/create bubbles in various markets.

Most of the rich landowners in this country can be traced back a thousand years to when their ancestors nicked it (or were gifted it for supporting a royal who was nicking more).

Edited by byron78

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Oxfam stop paying their Chief Operating Officer 7 million per year, taken directly from money meant for the world's poorest, I'll start taking them seriously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If bill gates would have ended up being worth 100 million after inventing windows instead of billions, and knew it beforehand, would he have said "screw it it's not worth it"? Yes or no answer please.....

Oh and people are not saying bill gates should not be worth a lot of money, but that he should not be worth 60 billion.

I agree that the true innovators who brought about global adoption were not interested in the money. It was a bi-product of demand and successful adoption. The thing that kicked off Bill Gates money was not the innovation it was is ability (with the help of his lawyer father and his mother knowing people on the board at IBM no doubt) to not give away the copyright to DOS.

To the points earlier :

Search engines/Computers would still exist if Larry Page & Bill Gates wasn't around but genuinely not as useful without an eco system and without popular adoption so actually decreasing their value for the human population. Getting people to actually WANT to use things is actually half the battle of any business. Most people are stuck in a rut and don't know what to do unless told.

People who have innovated (rather than the property/oil/resources mafia) often do it because they want to and think they can not because of money. Bill Gates probably has the right idea channelling his wealth into problems which governments are incapable of solving but will create mass benefit (in his opinion and the stats he chooses to use) for the world. Money isn't want you want to be chasing if you are innovating - its just getting people to believe in your idea. (obviously the idea might have to actually be useful. But we've seen with things like Twitter and Facebook it could just let the population do more of what it wants - randomly chat and discuss the mundane but feel connected)

I'm not disagreeing that the elites have usurped political power but governments who commit to more socialism will undoubtedly always fail. Corruption sets in which only give the Elites more of the real assets whilst promising the impossible to everyone else for a better tomorrow ( e.g selling our forests/ fracking vs pensions ). You can't fix this by taxing the rich and just giving to the poor - it'll be a disaster to give people something for nothing. It always is - even for the rich and their successors. So I don't have a solution (I wish I did) but I know there will and always has been a wealthy elite and a working and non working poor. That will not change no matter now much we try to eradicate poverty. Poverty will just change goal posts and the wealthy will just seize more to separate themselves. These cycles of decline and rise will always exist and we are a peak period before a big fall and increased volatility around the world. I await the enviable war. Human beings - nice and predictable over the long long term.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   215 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.