Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Rising Tide No Longer Lifts All Of The Boats

The 85 richest people on earth own 46% of all global wealth.
That little factoid is included in a report released to political and business leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  The study “Working for the Few” was commissioned by Oxfam International, a British humanitarian group.
According to the study, the richest 1% in the world controls $110 trillion in wealth… 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the population.  The bottom half owns about $1.7 trillion, roughly 0.7% of the total. 
Oxfam concludes: “The findings undermine democracy and make it more difficult to fight poverty.”
Oxfam found that the world leader in income equality is the good old US of A.  “The United States has led a worldwide growth in the concentration of wealth.”  No surprise there!
Quoting the report, “The percentage of income held by the richest 1% in the US has grown nearly 150% since 1980.  That small elite has received 95% of the wealth created since 2009, after the financial crisis, while the bottom 90% of Americans has become poorer.”
 We in this country care very little about the economic plight of our global neighbors.  So blinded are we by our fealty to “American Exceptionalism” that we view the world’s economic difficulties from a false sense of moral and intellectual superiority…that they are somehow inferior…and that we will never allow our society to sink to their economic depths. 
Yet here we are…the leader of the pack in economic inequality…the rising tide no longer lifting all the boats.   
 We have been warned!  We have been told by world leaders and economists alike that if we do not act the growing economic disparity in this country will be our demise.
The question now is…will we listen…or will we be brought down by our “exceptionalism.” 
A few weeks ago Pope Francis issued the same warning. 
Many of our conservative citizens labeled him a “Marxist.”   


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