The Senior Lecturer:
The Guardian reported the emergence of a new ‘gilded age’ yesterday as the concentration of the world’s wealth in the hands of a relatively few families reached levels not seen since the era before the First World War.
Hmm. That’s the UBS report.
The one thing it doesn’t tell us is about the concentration of wealth. Yes, it says that billionaires’ wealth rose 17% to $6 trillion. But it doesn’t tell us about concentration. We get no figure at all for the world’s total wealth. So we don’t actually know what percentage this is.
We might have a stab at it. Household wealth in the US is around $90 trillion. There’re what, about 3x the US population we might describe as rich world people? So, just to have a number, rich world household wealth is $300 trillion?
Some 1500 people have 2% – should we be worried?
Total US wealth (adding in all the Feds own etc) is more like $200 trillion. So, rich world wealth is $600 trillion. 1% in the hands of 1500 people?
I don’t insist on calling it either way here, just want to point out the bits we’re not being told.
Where I would insist on calling it out is that wealth isn’t the thing to be worrying about. Absolute income is. While we’ve still absolute poverty I really don’t care about the top. I care about the absolute poverty. Something which the current arrangements are reducing faster than any other set of actions ever have in the history of the species. Seems to me we’re doing something right therefore.
And thus we should continue doing it, globalised free market capitalism it is then.