Global Wealth Disparity

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  • RelaxedMikki 17 Apr 2013 22:46:45 941 posts
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    According to wikipedia global wealth is distributed as follows:

    Top 0.001% (91,000 people) - $16.7 trillion - 30% of global wealth
    Next 0.01% (800,000 people) - $10.7 trillion - 19% of global wealth
    Next 0.1% (8,000,000 people) - $17.4 trillion - 32% of global wealth
    Bottom 99.9% (6,000,000,000 people) - $10.3 trillion - 19% of global wealth

    So that's 50% of global wealth in the hands of 0.011% of the global population (under 900,000 people). The top 91,000 individuals have more than 150% of the combined wealth of the bottom 6,000,000,000.

    So...

    1. Are those wikipedia figures right? They seem really unlikely?
    2. If the figures are right, is it OK that 91,000 people hold more wealth than 6 billion people combined?
    3. If the figures are correct, and if it's not OK, what the heck could we do about it?
  • Deleted user 17 April 2013 22:47:38
    wikipedia
  • RobTheBuilder 17 Apr 2013 22:50:10 6,521 posts
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    @RelaxedMikki They sound about right. We need major change, or a revolution to fix that.
  • RelaxedMikki 17 Apr 2013 22:53:12 941 posts
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    @Ironlungs76

    It's seems pretty legit - they have references and everything:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_of_wealth

    Although, to be fair, they have added a 'this represents a US view' disclaimer to the top of the page since I last checked it...!
  • JuanKerr 17 Apr 2013 22:59:48 36,445 posts
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    99.9% of humans are pretty much useless and just make up the numbers.
  • RelaxedMikki 17 Apr 2013 23:03:04 941 posts
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    @JuanKerr

    Fair point. I must admit, I'd certainly put myself in the overlap in the 'bottom 99.9%' and the 'making up the numbers' venn diagram.

    But are even the folks who spend all day growing bananas just making up the numbers?

    I'd be really pissed off if I couldn't get any bananas.

    EDIT: just a typo

    Edited by RelaxedMikki at 23:09:50 17-04-2013
  • neilka 17 Apr 2013 23:15:43 16,532 posts
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    You should probably work on making more money than them and then giving it away to everyone else on the planet.

    BAAANG!!!!! EXPLOTION!!!!!

  • Pinky_Floyd 17 Apr 2013 23:15:44 8,359 posts
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    Are we saying bananas are at risk here?
  • RelaxedMikki 17 Apr 2013 23:25:23 941 posts
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    I think we are saying that we need to make sure that banana growers don't get access to wikipedia...!
  • DrStrangelove 18 Apr 2013 00:04:02 4,663 posts
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    Not sure how that's measured or found out, but I think the general picture is right. The disparity is really bad, and it's getting worse.

    It's interesting how the top 100,000 people could almost double the wealth of the bottom 6 billion by sharing half of their own. Which would still leave them ridiculously rich.

    I can't blame people for becoming communist.
  • joeymoto108 18 Apr 2013 00:26:46 660 posts
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    Surely any more than say 10 million is excessive anyway? I'm sure you can have absolutely everything you want in life with tremendous shitloads left over after.

    'Look at you, hacker: a pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal machine?'

  • Deleted user 18 April 2013 00:38:30
    The real question people should ask is "is this any different from the norm?". Just seems to me that history will probably show that it's always been roughly this way, probably right back to the conception of money.
  • RelaxedMikki 18 Apr 2013 00:40:08 941 posts
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    @Graveland

    I fear as much.

    Secret footage from last year's Davos summit would suggest that the lizard people are gorging themselves on far more than their fair share.

    Fat Lizard eats loads of banana.

    Edited by RelaxedMikki at 00:42:00 18-04-2013
  • Bremenacht 18 Apr 2013 00:43:34 19,663 posts
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    DrStrangelove wrote:
    It's interesting how the top 100,000 people could almost double the wealth of the bottom 6 billion by sharing half of their own. Which would still leave them ridiculously rich.
    Not only that, but most of the bottom 6 billion would blow their windfalls on iPhones, booze and betting shops within a week or two anyway, quickly sending the money back up to the top 100,000.
  • Bremenacht 18 Apr 2013 00:44:53 19,663 posts
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    Ka-blamo wrote:
    how do you propose this happens...send everyone a cheque for a few hunderd dollars?

    Money makes money, So over time of course the ones with the most will amass the most and always will.

    If we spread it all out evenly, then give it another few hundred years and it'll look the same again.
    Ha!
  • RelaxedMikki 18 Apr 2013 00:45:22 941 posts
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    Graveland wrote:
    But seriously, if those stats are correct then it implies that a small group of individuals effectively control the global economy. We are little more than slaves occasionally afforded crumbs and trinkets to keep us in the illusion of freedom.
    Yup. It's nuts. I almost can't believe the figures are correct.

    The only interpretation would seem to be that 99.9% of us (which would include me, you, our doctor, our MP, and most bankers and footballers, basically every single person you have seen and will see in your entire life) are working for the benfit of a tiny elite.

    Bugger.

    Edited by RelaxedMikki at 00:56:05 18-04-2013
  • Bremenacht 18 Apr 2013 00:45:32 19,663 posts
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    It's still better than the very rich locking their wealth away forever though. I mean, what good does that do for anything or any one?
  • Fab4 18 Apr 2013 07:19:24 6,216 posts
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    I thought I read somewhere that this disproportional allocation of resources happens in other areas of the planet. For example, the natural world. I wish i could find the link.

    Edited by Fab4 at 07:19:45 18-04-2013
  • twelveways 18 Apr 2013 07:25:01 4,193 posts
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    Isn't it all comparative though?
    Things are more expensive in rich countries, I live in a shithole in the middle of Asia and earn considerably less than I did when I was in the UK, my quality of life is much better though and I can afford to buy more stuff and go out every night.

    Poor is a state of mind, unless you are in abject poverty and starving to death.
  • monkman76 18 Apr 2013 07:38:47 5,406 posts
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    meme wrote:
    The real question people should ask is "is this any different from the norm?". Just seems to me that history will probably show that it's always been roughly this way, probably right back to the conception of money.
    Sounds like you're saying "well yeah that's a shame but that's just the way it is, no point worrying about it". Apologies if I'm misrepresenting you, but it's a good thing not all people have always had that fatalist attitude. The suffragettes, to give just one example.

    Besides I think most of us in the privileged west are under the (apparently mistaken) belief that things are better and fairer now than they were in less "civilised" times.
  • Deleted user 18 April 2013 08:00:00
    I wasn't suggesting it's something to be ignored, merely that it's not anything new. I've seen more than a few people believe that this sort of divide only sprang into existence around the same time Dubya got elected. Though I would personally argue that, short of an outright Marxist revolution, it's literally impossible to change within our lifetime, probably even beyond that. It's pretty much the entire cornerstone for Western civilisation (and arguably Eastern now too, looking at China and Saudi Arabia). That's not a fatalist attitude, that's a wholly realistic one. Worry about it, query it, even rebel against it, by all means, but also accept that any sort of change is going to be one very slow step at a time, instead of just happening after an overnight sit-in at Wall Street.

    Edited by meme at 08:03:45 18-04-2013
  • Deleted user 18 April 2013 08:08:08
    Incidentally, if you earn more than around 35k a year then that puts you in the top 1%

    And things are better than they used to be unless you think there being extremely high chances of you being dead before you reach your 1st birthday is good.
  • Deleted user 18 April 2013 08:12:19
    DrStrangelove wrote:
    Not sure how that's measured or found out, but I think the general picture is right. The disparity is really bad, and it's getting worse.

    It's interesting how the top 100,000 people could almost double the wealth of the bottom 6 billion by sharing half of their own. Which would still leave them ridiculously rich.

    I can't blame people for becoming communist.
    It wouldn't quite work like that though because it would change everyone's perception of currency and value.

    Why stop at the top 100000? Why not the next million? Why not the next 100 million? It has to be a slow change otherwise it would cause chaos.
  • monkman76 18 Apr 2013 08:18:43 5,406 posts
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    @meme Yes of course, but every marathon begins with a single step or whatever that metaphor is. We shouldn't do nothing and accept the status quo just because as you say, little is likely to change in our lifetimes.
    Edit: OK that's basically what you said too. I'm just saying the little steps are worth taking.

    Edited by monkman76 at 08:22:21 18-04-2013
  • monkman76 18 Apr 2013 08:24:40 5,406 posts
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    I'm also not saying that we should strive for no disparity at all, I think that would be a bad thing aside from being impossible in the real world. I'm just saying a slightly less obscene gulf between the haves and the have nots would be better for everyone.
  • grey_matters 18 Apr 2013 08:28:08 3,863 posts
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    monkman76 wrote:
    meme wrote:
    The real question people should ask is "is this any different from the norm?". Just seems to me that history will probably show that it's always been roughly this way, probably right back to the conception of money.
    Sounds like you're saying "well yeah that's a shame but that's just the way it is, no point worrying about it". Apologies if I'm misrepresenting you, but it's a good thing not all people have always had that fatalist attitude. The suffragettes, to give just one example.

    Besides I think most of us in the privileged west are under the (apparently mistaken) belief that things are better and fairer now than they were in less "civilised" times.
    Pareto (an Italian economist/statistician/engineer/sociologist) put forward the 80:20 rule after studying wealth data spread over hundreds years from various locations. That is, 20% of the people trend to own 80% of the wealth in any system. The numbers above seem to be much worse than that but should probably be weighted to take account of Aargh's point of any global figures being greatly skewed by developed countries' wealth.

    It still seems to be far worse though.
  • jellyBelly 18 Apr 2013 08:30:09 470 posts
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    Yes wealth is distributed as such, its called a power law in physics/math and it can arise if fluctuations are amplified instead of suppressed by the internal dynamics of the system which is a fancy way of expressing the old 'rich-get-richer' saying. So the more money you have the more money you tend to generate. Historically the middle and lower classes have tried to fend off this dynamic by forming unions , claiming various benefits etc , but even these damns seem to have been swept off as of lately. Not sure what the solution to all of this is at the moment except for people to educate themselves.

    PSN:lumulata, NN Dollodon

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