Number of people whose wealth = that of poorest 1/2 world population: 2010 =388 11 =177 12 =159 13 =92 14 =80 15 =62 https://t.co/tH74mVg5V0
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) January 18, 2016
That one tweet says a lot. Prior to 2010, half the wealth was concentrated with a few people, but too many to fit in a passenger jet. 2010, a 747 with room to spare. Now, a large bus or a small restaurant can seat enough people to control half the wealth of the world. With nothing to stop the trend, a shrinking number of people are accumulating more wealth. The wealth isn’t coming from the poor, because they have little or no wealth to give (and are actually seeing a reduction in extreme poverty.) The wealth is coming from the middle class; and now, the wealth is coming from the others who were wealthy. An overly simplistic perspective is that moving from 388 down to 62 also means 328 ultra-wealthy haven’t been able to keep up. In any system, a key resource taken to an extreme is destabilizing. Unfortunately, we understand so little about the system we call the economy that we don’t know what number represents the critically destabilizing extreme. Is it a dozen, or one, or can our economy thrive with one person holding not just half but more than half of the wealth? We are running an experiment that will affect us all.
(Click on the link in the tweet for more.)