Last weeks popular headline was “Richest 85 people as wealthy as half of world’s population”.
What seems missing are followup headlines asking or demanding changes to the system.
The popular headline in question, comes from a Oxfam paper that was released while people who ran the world met at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
I am quoting some points from their report.
- Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
- The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion.
- That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.
- The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
- Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.
- The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.
- In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post- financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer
There are still many people who think this is working out great. Point 6, and 7 show very well how this game is completely rigged.
But while much of the media lapped up Oxfam’s observations in the same report there is a list of recommendations which hardly got much notice.
Let me quote some recommendations from the same Oxfam paper.
- Not dodge taxes in their own countries or in countries where they invest and operate, by using tax havens;
- Not use their economic wealth to seek political favors that undermine the democratic will of their fellow citizens;
- Make public all the investments in companies and trusts for which they are the ultimate beneficial owners;
- Support progressive taxation on wealth and income;
- Challenge governments to use their tax revenue to provide universal healthcare,
education and social protection for citizens;
- Demand a living wage in all the companies they own or control;
- Challenge other economic elites to join them in these pledges.
Let’s be honest now, the media is pretty ineffective when it comes to recommending or demanding action against rising inequality from the elite. The elite are who ultimately either own the media as stake holders or control its revenues as advertisers.
So it was not surprising most press outlets only talked about the observations of Oxfam but almost none talked about what the future course of action should be.
As I wrote earlier, this game is truly fixed on an epic scale, but here the victims are not degenerate gamblers but are people who live in miserable conditions, have no access to education, food, shelter is rare and mostly die before they can even think of seeing an old age.