Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Oxfam Report: extreme class inequality

I assume that you have already heard by now of the Oxfam report on economic inequality and some of the outraging factoids it exposes such as a mere 85 individuals having as much wealth as 3.5 billion people, the poorest half of Earth's population.

This bit alone is most revealing, not the less because a typical bourgeois fallacious pretext against socialism is that dividing the wealth of the rich would be pointless, a mere drop in the ocean that would help nobody. The facts exposed by Oxfam totally dismantle this hypocritical claim: just dividing the wealth of those 85 top-tier plutocrats among the World's poor would in fact double the resources of these and that's not mere "peanuts" at all.

Ricardo Fuentes Nieva & Nicholas Galasso. Working for the Few. Political capture and economic inequality. Oxfam 2014 → LINK (freely available in English, French and Spanish). 

But I would like to dig a bit deeper than the usual news outlets. For example, table 1 of the report outlines in terms of owned wealth, the class structure of Earth:
  1. Millionaires (owners of > 1 million USD): 32 million adults (0.7% of the global population). Their shared wealth is 99 trillion (41%).
  2. Other privileged (owners of > 100,000 USD): 361 million adults (7.7% of the global population). Their shared wealth is 102 trillion (42.3%).
  3. Middle classes (owners of > 10,000 USD): 1,066 million adults (13,7%). Their shared wealth is 33 trillions (22.9%). 
  4. Poor classes (owning < 10,000 USD): 3,207 million adults (68.7%). Their shared "wealth" is 7 trillions (3%), averaging a mere 2,183 USD each. 
Naturally the low segment still hides lots of inequality but it is clear that a purely egalitarian division of wealth would get everybody owning more than USD 50,000, so the vast majority of the global population would benefit from such a socialist solution - all the poorest segment (almost 70% of the people) and many among the "middle class" segment have as objective interest the sharing of wealth (and power).

Why don't they often have it as subjective interest? Because of the system's propaganda, naturally. Many have-nothings fear to lose when in fact they can only gain with any sort of socialist change. That is why I think it is most important to expose these facts about social inequality and wealth and power grabbing by the bourgeois elites.

The Oxfam report has many other interesting details, so I encourage everyone to read it in full. However, while I do appreciate the boldness of this charity, which has always been quite outspoken (unlike so many other similar entities), I cannot but shake my head in disapproval on their "good will" recommendations for the mega-rich. Are they serious? Why would they even listen? Isn't it painfully obvious that they are doing only what benefits themselves with total disregard for Humankind as a whole? 

These facts can only lead to one conclusion: open your eyes, sharpen your pitchfork, get organized and let us change the socio-economical order in a revolutionary way. Let's do it now: it is about time!

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