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Global inequality and poverty

wealth pyramidThere were two interesting new blog posts this week from Michael Roberts on global wealth inequality, entitled Global wealth inequality and From the extremely wealthy to more than a billion in extreme poverty.

In the latter, he cites a World Bank reports that says there are now 1.2 billion people in extreme poverty – living on less than $1.25 a day, a third of which are children. Despite improvements in living standards for some in India and China, there are now 103 million more extremely poor people in the world’s 35 poorest countries than 30 years ago.

The strapline of his other post says it all: top 1% own 41%; top 10% own 86%; bottom half own just 1%. According to a report commissioned by Credit Suisse Bank, the wealthiest 10% of UK households were 4.4 times wealthier than the bottom 50% of households combined. And the idea of an “American dream” is a myth for most people: two-thirds of US adults are in the same wealth decile as their parents were.

Past class societies considered such extremes of inequality “normal and ‘god-given’,” comments Michael Roberts. “Capitalism on the other hand talks about free markets, equal exchange and equality of opportunity. But the reality is no different from previous class societies.”

4 Comments

  1. Robert says:

    Maybe that’s why MP’s need an extra £10,000 they are now in poverty.

    me I’ve been in real poverty for a while now and to be honest I cannot for the life of me care to much about other countries, India has a space agency and yet has been expecting others to give it aid, China now has the highest number of millionaires and the lowest tax levels, so no problems, shows you how even communism has failed socialism is bull and the other real truth is the Tories who own up to being a rich persons party

  2. swatantra says:

    Communism, Socialism and Capitalism have all failed. So, whats the solution?

  3. Robert says:

    Hitlerism.

  4. swatantra says:

    Facism failed as well. No, we’ll have to go back to Democratic Socialism, and this time make a go of it.

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