What the hell is going on in the world? There is really not much else to say after reading the recent Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, which states that the top 1% of the world’s population owns half of all global wealth. The “one percent” own half, while the bottom 50% of the world’s population combined owns just 1% of all global wealth. According to the report, just over $250 trillion worth of wealth has been amassed by these households. This report shows that 3.3 billion individuals – over 70% of adults worldwide – have wealth below $10,000, while there are 120,000 people in this elite group of millionaires (less than 1% of all adults) who own 44% of global wealth.
The report goes on to state,
“Very few personal or household characteristics vary across individuals as much as income and wealth. In almost all countries, the mean wealth of the top decile (i.e. the wealthiest 10% of adults) is more than ten times median wealth. For the top percentile (i.e. the wealthiest 1% of adults), mean wealth exceeds 100 times the median wealth in many countries and can approach 1000 times the median in the most unequal nations. This has been the case throughout most of human history, with wealth ownership often equating with land holdings, and wealth more often acquired via inheritance or conquest rather than talent or hard work. However, a combination of factors caused wealth inequality to trend downwards in high income countries during much of the 20th century, suggesting that a new era had emerged. That downward trend now appears to have stalled, and possibly gone into reverse.”
A telling sign of global inequality is the fact that the global wealth increase actually decreased in percentage of growth, but wealth inequality still rose. This is nothing new. Since 1979 real average income in the U.S. rose 44% for the bottom 20% of the population, 42% for the middle 60%, 73% for the next 19%, but a whopping 314% for the top 1%. Obviously, those who choose to work harder should be rewarded in kind, but one must wonder whether there are structural flaws allowing resources to be allocated disproportionately to one section of society? This has clear ramifications in society as well. Health and social problems in society are almost directly influenced by wealth inequality.
Often times people read wealth inequality figures and shake their head as if it could’t possibly be right. But at what point do people finally feel an inner calling to act upon a completely unjust system on the grounds of moral ethics? How long will people just docilely sit by while the ultra elite siphon off more and more wealth and control of society? At this point, the issue has moved beyond that of a national crisis and graduated to that of major international concern. The world is much more connected than ever before, therefore fair and balanced equitable systems are of huge importance if a peaceful equilibrium is to be found.
Somehow the balance of individual freedom and local sovereignty must be obtained. Not everyone can be forced into the same mold, but at the same time collective movements of mutual agreements are necessary. It’s important for diverse entities to come together on a common volunteer basis to uphold fairness in order to maintain health and balance rather than by order through force. This won’t be easy, but the first thing that the people need to agree on is that enough is enough. It’s time to act and begin to build a new system through the accumulation of many different individual acts around the same moral cause. We don’t want scraps from the elite. We deserve the fruits of our labor and equal access to this planet. We deserve better. It is time the majority rises up an takes what is rightfully theirs.