Skip to comments.World’s 100 richest earned enough in 2012 to end global poverty 4 times over
Posted on 01/20/2013 9:50:34 AM PST by TaxPayer2000
The world's 100 richest people earned a stunning total of $240 billion in 2012 enough money to end extreme poverty worldwide four times over, Oxfam has revealed, adding that the global economic crisis is further enriching the super-rich.
The richest 1 percent has increased its income by 60 percent in the last 20 years with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process, while the income of the top 0.01 percent has seen even greater growth, a new Oxfam report said.
For example, the luxury goods market has seen double-digit growth every year since the crisis hit, the report stated. And while the world's 100 richest people earned $240 billion last year, people in "extreme poverty" lived on less than $1.25 a day.
Oxfam is a leading international philanthropy organization. Its new report, The Cost of Inequality: How Wealth and Income Extremes Hurt us All, argues that the extreme concentration of wealth actually hinders the worlds ability to reduce poverty.
The report was published before the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, and calls on world leaders to end extreme wealth by 2025, and reverse the rapid increase in inequality seen in the majority of countries in the last 20 years.
Oxfam's report argues that extreme wealth is unethical, economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive.
The problem is a global one, Oxfam said: "In the UK inequality is rapidly returning to levels not seen since the time of Charles Dickens. In China the top 10 percent now take home nearly 60 percent of the income. Chinese inequality levels are now similar to those in South Africa, which is now the most unequal country on Earth and significantly more [inequality] than at the end of apartheid."
In the US, the richest 1 percent's share of income has doubled since 1980 from 10 to 20 percent, according to the report. For the top 0.01 percent, their share of national income quadrupled, reaching levels never seen before.
We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many too often the reverse is true, Executive Director of Oxfam International Jeremy Hobbs said.
Hobbs explained that concentration of wealth in the hands of the top few minimizes economic activity, making it harder for others to participate: From tax havens to weak employment laws, the richest benefit from a global economic system which is rigged in their favor.
The report highlights that even politics has become controlled by the super-wealthy, which leads to policies benefitting the richest few and not the poor majority, even in democracies.
It is time our leaders reformed the system so that it works in the interests of the whole of humanity rather than a global elite, the report said.
The four-day World Economic Forum will be held in Davos starting next Wednesday. World financial leaders will gather for an annual meeting that will focus on reviving the global economy, the eurozone crisis and the conflicts in Syria and Mali.
They could end poverty 4X over but couldn’t pay off the US national debt.
$240 billion is enough to end global poverty? LOL
It has been shown by the lottery winners that you can give poor people money but it will slip right through the fingers of some, spending it on drugs and Dodge Challengers and assorted garbage instead of starting a business or educating the children. And then some of them kill each other over it. It is hard to fix stupidity and lack of integrity and character.
Exactly how many flat screen tv’s would it take to end poverty?
End poverty for how long? One day?
3 Trillion didn’t end poverty in America.
Without “poverty”, how would commie Democrats get themselves elected? They rely on “poverty”. “Poverty” gives them their “powah”!
For what it's worth, if you tap into the investment side of the business of being rich you are tapping into the incomes of the employees of those investments.
This is one of the reasons tax systems of all kinds go for the incomes of the middle class and the poor. The idea is the broad masses are used to being poor, so leave them that way.
Modification of the inheritance laws to favor family members over the exchequer or the non profit ffoundation professional class would go a long way toward keeping that wealth invested which will keep people employed and make a lot of relatives of the really rich very happy.
I've proposed many times that we simply require that wealth above a certain level be distributed to the 500 closest blood relatives upon the death of the owner. That way you keep it in the family (to maintain the integrity of corporate interests or large agricultural groups) while busting up the really big piles into manageable chunks.
I think some folks worry this would result in an increased murder rate among the really rich ~ not really something we need to worry about eh.
They could take that $240 billion dollars away from the rich, redistribute it to the needy all over the world, and once those “needy” spend it, they’ll have to come back for another $240 billion, which won’t be there the next time. Then, the needy and the rich will be equally poor and destitute and without a prayer. The rich could probably start over, but what incentives would there be for them, but the number of poor will either remain the same or grow bigger.
Poverty is not something that can ever be overcome by government programs, or by taking money from the well-off to give to the poor, or by just giving them handouts.
I don't buy it either. The U.S. spends over $100 Billion a year on food stamps alone, and who knows how much on other welfare programs. To think that $240 Billion would wipe out poverty worldwide is ridiculous. Incidentally, if the $240 Billion were spent on poverty programs instead of Rolls Royces and other luxury items, what would happen to all the people who work in factories making those luxury products? Libs can't bring themselves to think about those kind of unintended consequences.
Oxfam's report is fair enough, but it ignores some rather unpalatable truths. The problem has never been shortage of resources, or even shortage of good will from the rich countries. After all, most Westerners are of good heart and have no wish to see others suffer. The real problem is the shortage of infrastructure in the 3rd World. You can buy food for their starving millions, but how do you distribute it? There is a shortage of transport and very few good roads. How do you store it? There aren't enough warehouses and few of them have refrigeration. How do you protect it from the bandits and warlords who pretty much control most of the rural areas and would sell it for drugs and guns? Even if aid gets to the needy, how do we stop them from becoming dependent on aid?
“The poor ye have with you always.” J.C. c.30 A.D.
I simply cringe every time I see a proposal concerning how someone else’s wealth is to be divied up. I see no positives to that way of thinking. Sorry, I just don’t.
Honestly, it isn’t even arguing with these morons about finance, or anything else for that matter. They aren’t equipped to think. They just have a goal for control over others’ lives and that’s just it...
If money solved poverty then there would be none in America. The Government has spent 16 TRILLION dollars OVER what they took in to spend and yet we still have people living in poverty and homeless..
They could not end poverty by spending/giving money.
They might postpone it for a few months or possibly a year for some, but it would not end. It would not change everyone into a different person with different abilities and priorities.
Maybe for a day, what about tomorrow?
Don't laugh. The claim was not to end global poverty, but to end extreme poverty world-wide (with $60 billion/year). Extreme poverty as Oxfam uses the term is non-existent in the developed world (leaving aside those deinstitutionalized mentally ill homeless folks who haven't the wit to plug into government or charitable services for the homeless). They are probably using a definition of $1 U.S. (or 0.5 GBP) per day in income at purchasing power parity conversion, though they might be using the World Bank's $1.25 U.S. per day. And yes, that level of poverty could be abolished through the judicious use of $60 billion/year -- abolishing poverty qua poverty is a fool's errand as Our Lord told us, and abolishing poverty as defined by the U.S. government world-wide is an economic absurdity, but then again, but world standards, the American "poor" simply aren't in poverty (leaving aside again the wretched madmen living on the streets who can't or won't take the charity or state aid available).
This being a report from Russia Today, and Russia being an Orthodox country, it is probably a good time to again remind everyone of the comments of St. John Chrysostom, who famously in his exhortations to Christian charity, in a remark much beloved of the left, said that "the goods of the rich are theft from the poor," on alleviating poverty through state action:
Should we look to kings and princes to put right the inequalities between rich and poor? Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich persons gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors? Should we beg the emperor to impose a tax on the rich so great that it reduces them to the level of the poor and then to share the proceeds of that tax among everyone? Equality imposed by force would achieve nothing, and do much harm. Those who combined both cruel hearts and sharp minds would soon find ways of making themselves rich again.The observation in the RT article should not be taken as a policy prescription for state action, but as a call for the very rich to succor the very poor voluntarily, thereby laying up treasure in heaven where neither thieves break in nor moths and rust destroy.
Worse still, the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold from the hands of soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would have prompted the gift. Far from bringing moral benefit to society, it would actually do moral harm. Material justice cannot be accomplished by compulsion, a change of heart will not follow. The only way to achieve true justice is to change peoples hearts firstand then they will joyfully share their wealth.
- St. John Chrysostom on the poor from On Living Simply XLIII
Fiscal cannibalism should be no more tolerable than the big iron pot variety.
A quick Bing search says the world GDP was about $70 trillion last year. So $240 billion is only 0.3% of the wealth created last year. Is this so outrageous?
How many times would $69.76 trillion eliminate poverty?
Don’t forget that, even if you manage to distribute the food, you end up destroying domestic producers. No one wants to grow rice, for example, if rice can be had for “free.”
And, by the standards Oxfam (or the World Bank) uses to define “extreme poverty”, leaving aside the mentally ill homeless who can’t or won’t take either state benefits or charity at the levels offered, there is no extreme poverty in the U.S.
All I know as well as you do is it DIDN'T work!
There would be a run on 40oz Malt Liquor in the US
You probably couldn't find a decent nose bone in Africa
There would be an explosion of babies in South America that would make today's poverty look like Happy Days Are Here Again....
...and in the end they would come back expecting more.
240 billion (4 times over), so divide by 4...
so they are really saying that only 60 billion is needed to end global poverty. Only 25% of what they earned....
You can't take from the savers and investors and give it to the masses..it will be gone, with the wind, in a day.
Really twisted thinking. How much money (our tax dollars) have we spent over the years on the “War on Poverty”? Check it out. The Dems, libs, whatever, want the majoity in poverty for their votes.
Who’s more to blame, the rich who earn the fiat money, the bankers who create the fiat money out of nothing, or hte politicians, who confiscate and spend more and drag us and future generations into massive debt?
“Tax the rich, Feed the poor,
til there are, Rich no more”
The irony of this classic remains.
Shortsighted feel good polices that get votes and leave disaster in their wake.
The Gov’t is like a drug company that has a cure but no disease. The only way to use the cure is to create the disease.
240 billion only covers 80 days of barry’s overspending every day of 3 billion.
Bull crap. It's unethical to work hard for yourself and reap the rewards? It's inefficient to be productive and earn more than someone who is not productive? It's politically corrosive...perhaps, but only because politicians take the money and use it to their own benefit. Socially divisive? Really? Only if you believe that everyone should be paid the same regardless of effort. Obozo has made it divisive by saying that the rich should pay their fair share, yet fails to point out that the richest 10% foot 71% of the tax burden. Environmentally destructive? England almost denuded itself in the Middle Ages because trees were chopped down for heating. It's only because of an entrepreneurial spirit that alternative heating sources have been developed. Without the work of those "rich guys", we'd all be ice cubes by now.
Environmentally destructive? This piece of research and the paper used to write it, represents an unnecessary denuding of the nation's forest. It's pure political crap.
The rich just set up businesses selling beer to the "needy" and it all comes right back. :)
no, no....obamaphones end poverty. flat screens tell you you’ve won the lottery.
When will people stop drooling over what others earn and get out and earn some for themselves. Wealth envy is a serious sickness that weakens the individual as well as the country. Envy works to the advantage of the Progressives. It creates the demon to be despised then overthrown with the result that all are miserable in their equality except the leaders, who will live in style and comfort.
ASK THE RUSSKIES HOW THEIR REVOLUTION WORKED OUT FOR 90% OF THEM! Of course 25,000,000 cannot answer, they are dead and buried.
Actually, yes. It is a grotesque underestimation, intentionally offered to make it so that more low-information voter will agree with taking more from the evil rich. Once they agree with the premise, THEN they can inform us about the "slight underestimation" and quadruple (or more) what they confiscate from those who contribute more to the economy than the government does.
Wealth invested in the means of production is not the same thing as wealth pissed-away on bling and Air Jordans and Escalades.
I’m not falling for this..... obama administration is again pitting one group against the other.
Do the math.
$240B / world population = $35.
The article describes “extreme poverty” as living on less than $1.25/day.
Another $35 per year won’t help.
Relegating that money to just 10% of the population at best raises them to about $2.25/day (or less). That still doesn’t help much: twice dang near zero is still dang near zero.
Not sure how they take that to ending global poverty 4 times over.
And I don’t see the author(s) giving up most of their income to others.
OPRAH already proved you CANNOT END POVERTY BY GIVING PEOPLE MONEY! The big Lottery winners as a rule usually prove it true, also!
I am too worried about my family sinking into poverty to be concerned about global poverty, idiots!
Better than just locking the family out and giving the bucks to the professional nonprofit oundation class ~ those people are all scum you know.
Not a terribly good argument. Luxury products, by definition, are produced in small quantities and employ comparatively few people, as opposed to products intended for mass consumption.
I understand your point, but as a percentage of the total economy of the world luxury products are a small factor.
As I expect can be quickly shown by comparing the worldwide employee count of Rolls and Lamborghini to that of Toyota and Ford.
Which doesn't keep pace with world GDP. Something the article doesn't want you to know.
IE, the rich are getting poorer compared to the rate of world growth.