The Power and Ruling Elite

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Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world

That’s right… the new report from British humanitarian group Oxfam International has revealed 85 richest people in the world own and have accumulated as much as the World’s Poorest 3.5 Billion People Combined — $1.7 trillion —

And as World Economic Forum starts in Davos, development charity claims growing inequality has been driven by ‘power grab’

The InterContinental Davos luxury hotel in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos. Oxfam report found people in countries around the world believe that the rich have too much influence over the direction their country is heading. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/REUTERS

The World’s Billionaires

How Rich Is The Power Weilding Rothschild Family and Why Aren’t They and the Royals on These Lists?

What The British Royals Are Worth? A Lot. But They Don’t Own It All

By Marion Algier – Ask Marion

the guardian: The world’s wealthiest people aren’t known for travelling by bus, but if they fancied a change of scene then the richest 85 people on the globe – who between them control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together – could squeeze onto a single double-decker.

The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called ‘global elite’ is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

Source: F. Alvaredo, A. B. Atkinson, T. Piketty and E. Saez, (2013) ‘The World Top Incomes Database’, http://topincomes.g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/ Only includes countries with data in 1980 and later than 2008. Photograph: Oxfam

The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110tn (£60.88tn), or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world, added the development charity, which fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

It’s a chilling reminder of the depths of wealth inequality as political leaders and top business people head to the snowy peaks of Davos for this week’s World Economic Forum. Few, if any, will be arriving on anything as common as a bus, with private jets and helicopters pressed into service as many of the world’s most powerful people convene to discuss the state of the global economy over four hectic days of meetings, seminars and parties in the exclusive ski resort.

Winnie Byanyima, the Oxfam executive director who will attend the Davos meetings, said: “It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world’s population – that’s three and a half billion people – own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus.”

Oxfam also argues that this is no accident either, saying growing inequality has been driven by a “power grab” by wealthy elites, who have co-opted the political process to rig the rules of the economic system in their favour.

In the report, entitled Working For The Few (summary here), Oxfam warned that the fight against poverty cannot be won until wealth inequality has been tackled.

“Widening inequality is creating a vicious circle where wealth and power are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs from the top table,” Byanyima said.

Oxfam called on attendees at this week’s World Economic Forum to take a personal pledge to tackle the problem by refraining from dodging taxes or using their wealth to seek political favours.

As well as being morally dubious, economic inequality can also exacerbate other social problems such as gender inequality, Oxfam warned. Davos itself is also struggling in this area, with the number of female delegates actually dropping from 17% in 2013 to 15% this year.

How richest use their wealth to capture opportunities

Polling for Oxfam’s report found people in countries around the world – including two-thirds of those questioned in Britain – believe that the rich have too much influence over the direction their country is heading.

Byanyima explained:

“In developed and developing countries alike we are increasingly living in a world where the lowest tax rates, the best health and education and the opportunity to influence are being given not just to the rich but also to their children.

“Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations. We will soon live in a world where equality of opportunity is just a dream. In too many countries economic growth already amounts to little more than a ‘winner takes all’ windfall for the richest.”

Source: F. Alvaredo, A. B. Atkinson, T. Piketty and E. Saez, (2013) ‘The World Top Incomes Database’, http://topincomes.g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/ Only includes countries with data in 1980 and later than 2008. Photograph: Oxfam

The Oxfam report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favour on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, anti-competitive business practices to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the report.

This “capture of opportunities” by the rich at the expense of the poor and middle classes has led to a situation where 70% of the world’s population live in countries where inequality has increased since the 1980s and 1% of families own 46% of global wealth – almost £70tn.

Opinion polls in Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa, the US, UK and Netherlands found that a majority in each country believe that wealthy people exert too much influence. Concern was strongest in Spain, followed by Brazil and India and least marked in the Netherlands.

In the UK, some 67% agreed that “the rich have too much influence over where this country is headed” – 37% saying that they agreed “strongly” with the statement – against just 10% who disagreed, 2% of them strongly.

The WEF’s own Global Risks report recently identified widening income disparities as one of the biggest threats to the world community.

Oxfam is calling on those gathered at WEF to pledge: to support progressive taxation and not dodge their own taxes; refrain from using their wealth to seek political favours that undermine the democratic will of their fellow citizens; make public all investments in companies and trusts for which they are the ultimate beneficial owners; challenge governments to use tax revenue to provide universal healthcare, education and social protection; demand a living wage in all companies they own or control; and challenge other members of the economic elite to join them in these pledges.

• Research Now questioned 1,166 adults in the UK for Oxfam between October 1 and 14 2013.

Video: Wealth Inequality Around The World

A new Oxfram report also finds that the richest 1% holds $110 trillion in wealth — or 46% of all global wealth — which is 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the population. Wealth and power have been heavily concentrated into the hands of a few, especially in the U.S., with the percentage of income held by the richest 1% of Americans growing by nearly 150% since 1980. According to the report, the richest 1% of Americans have received 95% of the wealth created in the U.S. since 2009, after the financial crisis, while the bottom 90% of Americans have become poorer.

But America is not the only culprit. The report singles out India, where the national wealth is rapidly consolidating into the hands of a few. For example, in 2003, the wealthiest citizens of India controlled approximately 1.6% of the nation’s wealth. By 2008, this number had skyrocketed to 26%. The growing wealth gap across the globe is disastrous and unsustainable. The system is entirely broken.

But what could be even more disastrous are the wealth redistribution schemes being cooked up by the world’s elites in Davos this week. When the rich and powerful are entrusted with solving the global wealth gap, expect no solutions, only more problems. The decisions they make are all about making themselves richer and more powerful to exert total control over the rest of us.

While the masses of the progressive proletariat suffer it out in the loss of their health insurance, the beautiful people in Davos discuss wellness (theirs!), mental health, and “the potentially pernicious effects of technology on the brain”. What brain? we might loudly ask.

Canada Free Press: Bloomberg points out that the 25 health-related sessions at the 2014 World Economic Forum this week is “at least a 50 percent more wellness-related presentation than in 2008”.

“The theme shows how anxiety over stress and its impact on business is mounting among the Davos set, who’ve spent the last five years dealing with crises from the collapse of Lehman Brothers to the Syrian civil war—all connected 24/7 to their beeping, buzzing smartphones. Mental health-related illnesses may cost $16 trillion in lost output over the next 20 years, according to figures from Harvard University an the WEF.” (Bloomberg, Jan. 20, 2014).

If it’s not enough to be burdened with what the botox-boosted bimbos are thinking in Davos, the World Post will be launched at the WEF this month. Many of its wealthy and out-there contributors include opportunist former British prime minister Tony Blair and malthusian Bill Gates of Microsoft.

The World Post, to be launched by Arianna Huffington and billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen is a comment and news website that looks set to become a platform for some of the most powerful people on the planet, according to theguardian.com.

Arianna Huffington: “You can have all those heads of state and major business people, etcetera etcetera, writing right next to an unemployed man from Spain, a student from Brazil. The great heart of HuffPo is no hierarchy.”

In digital language: LOL, Arianna.

Berggruen insists that the World Post will be run for profit. “I think that’s healthy,” he said. “But if we’re going to make an investment in the most exciting areas to make an investment, it probably wouldn’t be this. If it doesn’t make money, we will still support it, he said. “We’re not in it just to make money.”

What’s filthy lucre, when you can own the world through the power of the digital press?

“The publication’s initial editorial board has deep ties to media companies around the world. Alongside Huffington and Berggruen it includes Juan Luis Cebrian, founding editor of El Pais, Dileep Padgaonkar, consulting editor at the Times of India, Yoichi Funabashi, former editor-in-chief of Asahi Shimbun, and Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of eBay and backer of a new investigative reporting organisation, First Look Media, set up with former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald.

“The launch comes amid a wave of new money going into media ventures. Berggruen said it was clear that traditional news organizations were still struggling and that many more would fail. “I think there will be a few media voices that really have weight and will survive but fewer and fewer.”

Berggruen and Company may be overzealous in predictions that many struggling news organizations will soon be falling off the cliff.

It takes more than someone else’s money to run a successful publishing organization.

After all, Al Gore, the last rich man to be a publisher, had to sell out to al Jazeera to recoup his losses.

Besides the struggling traditional news organizations have something the World Post will never have: the readership of the proletariat.

Even if you add up the 85 richest people in the world, the International Bankers and money brokers, the world’s politicians and power brokers and their extended networks including the CFR, Bilderbergers, Trilateralists, etc. (all of which intersect), you are perhaps talking thousands, yet there are billions of us. We surround them… so why do we allow this small group to control us? It is the million dollar question that needs to be considered, asked and acted on… And it is definitely past time to think about it and make changes!! As stated above, the decisions ‘they’ (the power and ruling elite) make are all about making themselves richer and more powerful and to exert total control over the rest of us.

But don’t fall into the trap of believing the Obama Administration’s new election ploy, focusing on income equality for all, to take focus off the ObamaCare debacle and off the BenghaziGate, in an attempt by the Progressives to win in 2014 and to elect Hillary in 2016; either will just give the ruling elite more power and control and could spell the end of the United States of America as we know it. Income equality for all is an illusion, a promise fed to the low-informed by and for the power elite and their ‘useful’ friends. Just open your eyes, you don’t have to look far: Most Transparent Administration Throws Secret Party.

Video: The Tiny Dot – We Surround Them!

A situation too weird for 99.999% of people to adequately explain… but necessary for us all to realize!!

Read more here…

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