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Thread: richest 1% got 82% of the wealth

  1. #1
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    richest 1% got 82% of the wealth

    https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/p...ated-last-year

    Sobering press release from Oxfam. Perhaps one of the reasons so many people are part of the current great migration from the poorest countries in the world. And why in the richest countries in the world, there are So many without access to proper food, shelter, clean water, good public education, and proper healthcare. And women lag behind men in wages.

    Read the whole article. 42 people in the world own as much wealth as the.entire bottom half of the worlds humanity. Let that sink in.

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    Of far more interest to me is whether global poverty has declined over the last generation or so.

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    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Is the world's money supply static? If the article leads you to believe that every increment of wealth someone else owns diminishes your ability to prosper, then shame on the author.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    Is the world's money supply static?
    Of course not. The rich get richer in most cases.

    Here is a really comprehensive look at global poverty. It confirms what LDAHL said--in part due to the growth in Asia (China most specifically), global poverty is declining. Of course, that's good news. But if you are suggesting that there's some cause and effect between wealth inequality and increased prosperity--I would say that wealth inequality is something to be checked along the way to prosperity--like brakes on a train. Wealth inequality in my mind is a negative consequence of growth. What good does it do to have most of all the world's wealth tied up in the hands of a few people? So we can all be feudal serfs in a political world where the lords are those who can pay for power?

    One of the conclusions of the report is:

    Ending extreme poverty by 2030 is likely to require growth with declining inequality
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  5. #5
    Williamsmith
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    It would seem like the well being of the worlds population would be more complex than simple wealth comparisons can flesh out.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    It would seem like the well being of the worlds population would be more complex than simple wealth comparisons can flesh out.
    Very true... this report does go into that:

    At Our World in Data, we believe that it is important to track progress in dimensions of well-being spanning beyond standard economic indicators. This is why we make an effort to study a wide range of aspects, including education, health, human rights, etc.

    They admit that folding in all those variables makes comparisons across countries very difficult, but they tried. I see incredible limitations to GDP as a yardstick for prosperity and well-being, but we're living in that world right now, unfortunately.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    Is the world's money supply static? If the article leads you to believe that every increment of wealth someone else owns diminishes your ability to prosper, then shame on the author.
    it depends. What if the richest few start a business (like Walmart and amazon for instance) and buys cheap goods produced with slave labor. I saw some shops in Thailand that had horrendous conditions where people went home to dirt huts and no running water. The same is true in many factories around the world. Goods that are sold in warehouses and stores where people work for minimum wage or slightly above with few benefits and stripped down health insurance. The rest of the businesses go out of business until you have left are big box stores and that staple of poor areas, dollar general. People making low wages have little recourse and fall further behind. There is a huge difference from bigger earners who can afford to put money in a 401k, enjoy having a decent vehicle to get to work, can afford decent childcare and health care, and those on the bottom of the scale. We travel the country for three or four months a year and see the same thing over and over. Extreme poverty clusters with no way out and extreme palm beach type wealth.

    No good supermarkets? Let them eat cake. Expired Little debbies from dollar general.

  8. #8
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Thank you for this perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Of course not. The rich get richer in most cases.

    Here is a really comprehensive look at global poverty. It confirms what LDAHL said--in part due to the growth in Asia (China most specifically), global poverty is declining. Of course, that's good news. But if you are suggesting that there's some cause and effect between wealth inequality and increased prosperity--I would say that wealth inequality is something to be checked along the way to prosperity--like brakes on a train. Wealth inequality in my mind is a negative consequence of growth. What good does it do to have most of all the world's wealth tied up in the hands of a few people? So we can all be feudal serfs in a political world where the lords are those who can pay for power?

    One of the conclusions of the report is:

    Ending extreme poverty by 2030 is likely to require growth with declining inequality

  9. #9
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    it depends. What if the richest few start a business (like Walmart and amazon for instance) and buys cheap goods produced with slave labor. I saw some shops in Thailand that had horrendous conditions where people went home to dirt huts and no running water. The same is true in many factories around the world.
    THis reminds me of an interview I heard recently of Sherod Brown where he spoke about the automobile factories in Mexico. Since Ohio has a lot of autoworkers (and factories) he has toured factories both in the US and Mexico. Basically, he said, automobile factories in Mexico are identical to those in the US in every way but one. They are all modern, high tech places that turn out excellently built cars. The only difference between them is that the Mexican ones don't have parking lots since the workers don't get paid enough to be able to afford the product they build.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    There are probably a lot of angles to consider, but my simplified take is that the wealthy control politics and governments. The mentality around wealth accumulation is geared to more wealth accumulation rather than sharing or wealth distribution. There are obvious exceptions of altruism, but it's a self-perpetuating system.

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