Home > Uncategorized > Eight billionaires ‘as rich as world’s poorest half’

Eight billionaires ‘as rich as world’s poorest half’

Graphic showing eight richest men


Amartya Sen tells Radio 4’s Today that economic inequality must be tackled



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  1. deshoebox
    April 11, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Fuck them! Just fuck them and any economist who feels like explaining that any distribution of wealth and income is just as good as any other.

  2. Robert Locke
    April 12, 2019 at 11:22 am

    In the anatomy of revolution one of the essential sources of upheaval is the elite’s losing the confidence of the “people.” Is that where we are today?

  3. Helen Sakho
    April 14, 2019 at 2:03 am

    We must not worry too much, none of these charlatans need company! They never cared about the people, and now they do not even have to explain themselves to anyone.

  4. Scott Baker
    April 15, 2019 at 8:27 am

    The first thing I notice it that your figures are very out-of-date. Both Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are now worth over $100b each. Buffet is nearly there too. More like 4-6 of these billionaires are worth the bottom half, whose worth is as low as ever.

  5. MichaelLucasMonterey
    April 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks Amartya & allies – Scott, I really appreciate your reminder. Recently, I saw a report on the 1%ers owning more “wealth” than us 90%ers. Yet, it’s also worth remembering that Zuckerberg’s pre-reform annual salary was left out of earlier US average CEO calculations. Otherwise, the ratio of CEO to lowest-paid employee would have been nearly 3000:1 instead of 300+ to 1. Robert, I think so because, for the last 7 years or so, I get more agreement from nearly every average person who hears my diagnosis, prognosis & prescription than I ever have in the RWER blogosphere. Hence, the tipping point was passed. Now we are witnessing the slow-motion collapse of the industrialist-financialist pseudo-empire game, which was never designed to be endlessly sustainable or fixable. We should also remember that changing the rules of game creates a new game. Changing the rules of toxic parasitism to foster & sustain a healthy cultural economy, is not simply an improvement, it’s like night becoming day, or Hell becoming Heaven (or global paradise).

  6. Rob
    April 20, 2019 at 5:58 am

    In the anatomy of revolution one of the essential sources of upheaval is the elite’s losing the confidence of the “people.” Is that where we are today? ~ Robert Locke

    I believe we have Robert. But then, consider that same can be said for the zealots supporting Donald Trump. Where a revolution will take us when simply being disillusioned with the elite led to electing a wicked, pathological serial liar and demagogue like Trump I cannot say. I pray that a younger generation is more informed than the older generation that brought us this American nightmare. The next few years will be determinative of whether the American nightmare will self-correct or drag the rest of the world down with it.

  7. Ken Zimmerman
    April 21, 2019 at 9:34 am

    The 1% prey on all of us and we allow them to do so. Why? First, we fear them and those they control. Second, we still believe in “law and order.” Third, we fear loss of our jobs and property. Fourth, we often fear such actions would be perceived as radical, even socialist. Fifth, we want the respect and protection of the 1%. Sixth, for many, scraps from the lord’s table are the best life they can imagine. Seventh, we can’t believe any change we might help create will have any positive result. Finally, the 1% would oppose and destroy any such efforts, anyway.

    From the other side, how does the 1% cope with the problems raised by the 99%? The 1% is unaware of any of these problems and would not attempt to solve the problems even if it were aware of them. The place of the 1% in social evolution is to retard movement and to conserve what is obsolescent. Most explanations of this class conservatism are an invidious one. That the wealthy oppose innovation because it has a vested interest, of an unworthy sort, in maintaining the present conditions. But Veblen imputes no unworthy motive. In Veblen’s view, the opposition of the class to changes in the cultural scheme is innate to the class, and does not rest primarily on an interested calculation of material advantages; it is an essential revulsion at any departure from the accepted way of doing and of looking at things—a revulsion common to all men and only to be overcome by stress of circumstances. All change in habits of life and of thought is irksome. The difference in this respect between the wealthy and the common human lies not so much in the motive which prompts to conservatism as in the degree of exposure to the economic forces that urge a change. The members of the wealthy class do not yield to the demand for innovation as readily as other classes because they are not constrained to do so. This conservatism of the wealthy class is so obvious a feature that it has even come to be recognized as a mark of respectability. Since conservatism is a characteristic of the wealthier and therefore more reputable portion of the community, it has acquired a certain honorific or decorative value. It has become prescriptive to such an extent that adherence to conservative views is included as a matter of course in our notions of respectability; and it is incumbent on all who would lead a blameless life pursuing social repute. Conservatism, being an upper-class characteristic, is decorous; and conversely, innovation, being a lower-class phenomenon, is vulgar. The innovator is a person with whom it is at least distasteful to be associated, and from whose social contact one must shrink. Innovation is “bad form.” The fact that the usages, actions, and views of the well-to-do acquire the character of a prescriptive canon of conduct for the rest of society, gives added weight and reach to the conservative influence of that class. It makes it incumbent upon all reputable people to follow their lead.

  8. Patrick Newman
    April 22, 2019 at 11:34 am

    How do we redistribute the wealth when it is in physical form like an island (Branson) or the massive yacht shown in the picture. The answer must be that it is sequestered by the state to defray punitive wealth and income taxes and the wealth is made available to the masses to enjoy! What political organisation is going to propose this as a pathway to power – I suspect that even Bernie does not have this one bottomed!

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