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interestrateripoff

85 Super Wealthy People Have More Money Than The Poorest 3.5 Billion Combined

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http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-29/85-super-wealthy-people-have-more-money-poorest-35-billion-combined

The global economy is structured to systematically funnel wealth to the very top of the pyramid, and this centralization of global wealth is accelerating with each passing year. According to the United Nations, 85 super wealthy people have more money than the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet combined. And 1.2 billion of those poor people live on less than $1.25 a day. There is something deeply, deeply broken about a system that produces these kinds of results. Seven out of every ten people on the planet live in countries where the gap between the wealthy and the poor has increased in the last 30 years. Despite our technological advances, somewhere around a billion people go to bed hungry every single night. And when our fundamentally flawed financial system finally does collapse, it will be the poor that will suffer the worst.

Now, let me make one thing clear at the outset.

Big government and more socialism are not the answer to anything. Big government and more socialism almost always result in increased oppression and increased poverty. If you want to see where that road ultimately leads to, just look at North Korea.

What we need is a system that empowers individuals and families to work hard, be creative, build businesses and to take care of themselves.

But instead, we have a system where all power and all wealth are increasingly controlled by giant banks and giant corporations that are in turn controlled by the global elite. The "financialization" of the global economy has turned almost everyone on the planet into "deft serfs", and the compound interest on all of that debt enables the global elite to constantly increase their giant piles of money.

As I have written about previously, the total amount of government debt in the world has increased by about 40 percent since the last recession.

And when you consider all forms of debt, the grand total for the planet is now up to a whopping 223 trillion dollars.

This enables the super wealthy to constantly become even wealthier. It is like a giant vacuum cleaner that sucks wealth out of all of our pockets and transfers it to them.

It has been reported that the global elite have approximately 32 trillion dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe.

But that is only what we know about.

Although big business and big profits are leading to increased oppression and increased poverty. Wealth hoarding is a major problem but how do you solve it. Any solution is going to require some sort of intervention as these individuals clearly won't give up the "wealth they've earned".

When you have billions of dollars, clearly what you need is even more.

Edited by interestrateripoff

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Just like most people don't realize that men like Bill Gates and Carlos Slim are not the wealthiest men on the planet.

So who are the wealthiest men on the planet then - who are the 85?

And what is a "deft serf"?

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So who are the wealthiest men on the planet then - who are the 85?

And what is a "deft serf"?

This chap..

Robin_shoots_with_sir_Guy_by_Louis_Rhead

He was pretty handy with a bow and arrow.

Back on topic, I'll go along with the idea that some inequality is a good thing as it provides an incentive for people to innovate, but I think things may have gotten a little out of hand. We good do with some deft serfs to stake out some political ground by stating a determination to unwind some of the inequality.

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This chap..

Robin_shoots_with_sir_Guy_by_Louis_Rhead

He was pretty handy with a bow and arrow.

Back on topic, I'll go along with the idea that some inequality is a good thing as it provides an incentive for people to innovate, but I think things may have gotten a little out of hand. We good do with some deft serfs to stake out some political ground by stating a determination to unwind some of the inequality.

On the other hand, I have no incentive to work harder due to the oppressive amount of tax I have to pay. This incentive is further diminished when I see companies not paying their way and a whole list of Celebs pay 0 tax. On top of that, things like the MPs expense scandal and the ongoing support of the bankers means that I not only do not work any more than I have to I am trying to leave the country,

I dont mind the inequality but I do mind the fraud, cheating and oppression.

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This chap..

Robin_shoots_with_sir_Guy_by_Louis_Rhead

He was pretty handy with a bow and arrow.

Back on topic, I'll go along with the idea that some inequality is a good thing as it provides an incentive for people to innovate, but I think things may have gotten a little out of hand. We good do with some deft serfs to stake out some political ground by stating a determination to unwind some of the inequality.

Haha, very deft indeed!

But is there any truth in this assertion that the wealthiest are not those topping the Forbes list, that these shadowy figures 'hide their real wealth'? Sounds slightly conspiranoid to me, but I don't know enough to judge its veracity one way or another...

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Haha, very deft indeed!

But is there any truth in this assertion that the wealthiest are not those topping the Forbes list, that these shadowy figures 'hide their real wealth'? Sounds slightly conspiranoid to me, but I don't know enough to judge its veracity one way or another...

If the source is Zero Hedge then I guess the rule of thumb would be that just because has a "conspiranoid" (I like it!) feel to it, doesn't mean it is totally wrong. Nicholas Shaxson's excellent Treasure Islands makes a fairly compelling case that there is a massive industry for hiding wealth. I find it very difficult to believe that if you let structures of economic organisation concentrate and you make it easy for people to avoid paying tax on their accumulated wealth, then wealth will concentrate. As to the idea that some people would like to be very rich, but not publicly very rich - I'd buy that. Pathological acquisitiveness and a pathological need to display accoutrements indicating wealth are different sicknesses. I don't see why we should always expect to see them going hand in hand. Lots of parts of the world where you certainly don't want people to know how wealthy you really are - China and Russia, for example.

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If their wealth is 'hidden', then does it really exist? How do you go about enforcing property rights over money or assets without a paper trail?

Someone more cynical than me might point out that the rich sheperd's wealth lies in his flock, then let you ponder what he meant.

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http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-29/85-super-wealthy-people-have-more-money-poorest-35-billion-combined

Although big business and big profits are leading to increased oppression and increased poverty. Wealth hoarding is a major problem but how do you solve it. Any solution is going to require some sort of intervention as these individuals clearly won't give up the "wealth they've earned".

When you have billions of dollars, clearly what you need is even more.

1/ So in UK a family with 2 or 3 kids is "entitled" for about £30/40k pa - with all the housing benefits, tax credits, free NHS, libraries, etc ...

It does not look like a poverty to me.

2/ I could not care less if Bill Gates has zillions of money and what he does with it if the tax has been paid.

Again not sure what giving his money to the family above would solve. Probably just inflate prices of basic items such as the current housing benefit system.

3/ Really can not see if there are any people in G7 countries with the real poverty

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On the other hand, I have no incentive to work harder due to the oppressive amount of tax I have to pay. This incentive is further diminished when I see companies not paying their way and a whole list of Celebs pay 0 tax. On top of that, things like the MPs expense scandal and the ongoing support of the bankers means that I not only do not work any more than I have to I am trying to leave the country,

I dont mind the inequality but I do mind the fraud, cheating and oppression.

My grandparents and parents always reminded me they grew up in an era of much higher (income) taxation, but the incentive to work was always there.

Something odd has happened, where the rich pay no tax, the middle pays it all, and the bottom largely get the blame. Classic divide and rule I suppose.

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On the other hand, I have no incentive to work harder due to the oppressive amount of tax I have to pay. This incentive is further diminished when I see companies not paying their way and a whole list of Celebs pay 0 tax. On top of that, things like the MPs expense scandal and the ongoing support of the bankers means that I not only do not work any more than I have to I am trying to leave the country,

I dont mind the inequality but I do mind the fraud, cheating and oppression.

Which is why contemporary big-state financialised capitalism is has a lot in common with command economy communism, or certainly more than we usually acknowledge. Personally, I think that the idea of letting markets organise themselves is a contradiction in terms, but I know that there are a lot of people on the boards who think very differently. IMO the state needs to exist and the state needs to interfere with markets, by setting and modifying rules. It would be best if that was guided by pragmatic considerations rather than dogmatic considerations and if we engaged a little more with the idea that our actions are partly informed by our guiding ideologies, so we could have an honest conversation about what our ideology was. But this is utopianism on my part. In the UK it's just sheep and wolves. The Left are defeated and the Right are co-opted. We have an ideology but we don't talk about it; the ideology is that the present arrangement is inevitable and immutable. Goldsmith in this 1994 interview regarding the expected impact of GATT nails the other part of the ideology that matters - an idolatry of economic indices and neglect of the fact that the economy exists to serve us, and not the other way round, (the relevant section is the first minute or so of the second part).

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If their wealth is 'hidden', then does it really exist? How do you go about enforcing property rights over money or assets without a paper trail?

At the most fundamental level you could say that putting assets in a partner's name, for tax reasons or whatever, is 'hiding' wealth. Multiply this tactic by any number of complex subsidiary business arrangements (the details of which I know nothing about, but I presume this is roughly how it works, shell companies etc) and your wealth is effectively 'hidden'. But this does not mean that there isn't a paper trail, but more that things are opaque and resistant to scrutiny.

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If their wealth is 'hidden', then does it really exist? How do you go about enforcing property rights over money or assets without a paper trail?

One of the brilliant things in the Shaxson book is shell companies that are set up so that as soon as any contact is made by a relevant authority - e.g. the FBI - then the shell company automatically changes its name and incorporates in another tax haven. The wealth is hidden, but not from the people who own it - and there is a paper trail, but it's one that you can only 'follow' if you were the one who set it up. It's a great book which I heartily recommend.

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Which is why contemporary big-state financialised capitalism is has a lot in common with command economy communism, or certainly more than we usually acknowledge. Personally, I think that the idea of letting markets organise themselves is a contradiction in terms, but I know that there are a lot of people on the boards who think very differently. IMO the state needs to exist and the state needs to interfere with markets, by setting and modifying rules. It would be best if that was guided by pragmatic considerations rather than dogmatic considerations and if we engaged a little more with the idea that our actions are partly informed by our guiding ideologies, so we could have an honest conversation about what our ideology was. But this is utopianism on my part. In the UK it's just sheep and wolves. The Left are defeated and the Right are co-opted. We have an ideology but we don't talk about it; the ideology is that the present arrangement is inevitable and immutable. Goldsmith in this 1994 interview regarding the expected impact of GATT nails the other part of the ideology that matters - an idolatry of economic indices and neglect of the fact that the economy exists to serve us, and not the other way round, (the relevant section is the first minute or so of the second part).

I've no idea what any of that meant.

But thanks anyway.

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One of the brilliant things in the Shaxson book is shell companies that are set up so that as soon as any contact is made by a relevant authority - e.g. the FBI - then the shell company automatically changes its name and incorporates in another tax haven. The wealth is hidden, but not from the people who own it - and there is a paper trail, but it's one that you can only 'follow' if you were the one who set it up. It's a great book which I heartily recommend.

But surely if you ever want to realise your hidden wealth you have to unwind your financial fictions and get your hands on real cash somehow?

Fundamentally, these people are only rich because the rest of us agree that they are. If the money is 'hidden', why should we believe them when they tell us that they own things? Or is it all a confidence trick - what's to stop me from 'unhiding' a bunch of newly discovered 'offshore' assets?

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But surely if you ever want to realise your hidden wealth you have to unwind your financial fictions and get your hands on real cash somehow?

Fundamentally, these people are only rich because the rest of us agree that they are. If the money is 'hidden', why should we believe them when they tell us that they own things? Or is it all a confidence trick - what's to stop me from 'unhiding' a bunch of newly discovered 'offshore' assets?

Use the shell company to buy nice house in Mayfair, live in it. You haven't unwound the fiction, and the nice house is plenty real. You'll feel plenty rich. I guess we're talking about hiding wealth from tax authorities. If I can get my share dividends paid without any tax deductions that is a win. If I can offload shares and lock in gains but avoid any capital gains tax, it's a win. For the most part I assume that these people are hiding it not out of a desire to be secretive, but rather to avoid the (insolvent) governments preying on their nest egg.

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One of the brilliant things in the Shaxson book is shell companies that are set up so that as soon as any contact is made by a relevant authority - e.g. the FBI - then the shell company automatically changes its name and incorporates in another tax haven. The wealth is hidden, but not from the people who own it - and there is a paper trail, but it's one that you can only 'follow' if you were the one who set it up. It's a great book which I heartily recommend

These games really only work because they are tolerated by the PTB- for obvious reasons.

The idea that there is something like 13 trillion dollars 'hidden' in offshore accounts is a logical absurdity- yet this claim is constantly made.

But no one asks the obvious question- how can you hide something that only exists to the degree that it's recognized to exist by the very system you are attempting to hide it from?

For example- should some billionaire ask his accountant how he can hide his bank accounts from the taxman and is advised to hire a hacker to delete those accounts and make them irretrievable he might not be too happy.

A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network.

James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has compiled the most detailed estimates yet of the size of the offshore economy in a new report, The Price of Offshore Revisited, released exclusively to the Observer.

He shows that at least £13tn – perhaps up to £20tn – has leaked out of scores of countries into secretive jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands with the help of private banks, which vie to attract the assets of so-called high net-worth individuals. Their wealth is, as Henry puts it, "protected by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professional enablers in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries taking advantage of the increasingly borderless, frictionless global economy". According to Henry's research, the top 10 private banks, which include UBS and Credit Suisse in Switzerland, as well as the US investment bank Goldman Sachs, managed more than £4tn in 2010, a sharp rise from £1.5tn five years earlier.

The detailed analysis in the report, compiled using data from a range of sources, including the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, suggests that for many developing countries the cumulative value of the capital that has flowed out of their economies since the 1970s would be more than enough to pay off their debts to the rest of the world.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/jul/21/global-elite-tax-offshore-economy

Nothing is 'hidden' here- this is just a shell game facilitated by enabling agents who themselves are sanctioned by the states who tolerate their activities.

One does wonder however why those armies of accountants and private bankers don't simply redistribute that money among themselves- after all- it that wealth does not exist then it cannot be stolen-right?

Or is there an implicit understanding that if they did steal it the same authorities who claim to be helpless to detect it's existence would be ferocious in their prosecution of anyone who dared to take it?

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...

Or is there an implicit understanding that if they did steal it the same authorities who claim to be helpless to detect it's existence would be ferocious in their prosecution of anyone who dared to take it?

I always assumed that it was their clients they were afraid of, (link).

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