Triumph of the 1% of the 1% of the 1% of the 1%

A new study finds that the world’s wealthiest 85 people own more wealth than the world’s poorest 3.5 billion people — half the world’s population — combined. What if this trend continues?

16 thoughts on “Triumph of the 1% of the 1% of the 1% of the 1%

  1. What if this trend continues? Nothing, that’s what.

    As long as the slob masses are sated with their slob basics, like beer, NASCAR, rap, porn, etc …. they’re content. Throw ’em a bone and that’s enough. Their masters deserve their wealth and power because the slob masses need them to order their pointless lives. That requires proper compensation.

    • What would the masses do without their endless distractions? Go mad probably. We’re talking about people who go to any and every new movie, watch each new reality TV show, and just generally buy whatever is hot. They’re the ones frittering away their cash and funneling it upward. More money will not solve their money problems. It will compound problems because as soon as they get it, it goes out in expenses. No matter how big their paychecks get, they spend it all on garbage–or if they try to look rich, they’ll get into debt on top of it all.

      • I partially agree with you and Exkiodexian on this, but I think there are some critical misconceptions here. While in the minority there are many people who do actually do good things with their money. Your argument basically boils down to, “Most of them would waste it, so none of them should have it.” That is a little unfair, I am pretty sure the same thing was said in relation to the question of freeing the African American slaves back in the day. Additionally there is a great report recently on giving the poor a stipend, to keep them from being too poor. The study result basically showed that everything improves for their children afterwards, their independence, their health their sanity, their economic mobility into better strata of life, ect…

        Your argument primarily revolves around the people who are already at least close to middle class if not thoroughly in it. Sure I agree, the people who waste away their lives with their middle class earnings don’t need any more money to waste. But your argument is basically a statement, however indirect, that because their may be a few hundred million middle class people who piss away their money in the world, there is no reason to do even a little about income disparity, which even if a little is done correctly will vastly improve the lives of billions in spite of the useless few hundred million middle class who do not need another cent to squander on their pointless existence.

      • Everyone can find a few dollars to save. Everyone thinks their desires are needs. Almost everyone is risk averse and demands instant gratification. What we need is real education, so that new entrepreneurs will take the plunge and create new jobs instead of looking for jobs.

        Tax incentives exist for those who would provide jobs, housing, and energy. These incentives are here to stay. It is highly skilled and important WORK.

        Why is it that liberals complain they don’t have any money but don’t bother to learn about it? If you don’t have money, it is because you are bad at managing it. It will always slip through your fingers. Even those terrible rich people with inheritances would find themselves quickly in the poor house if they did not know how to manage that money! Maybe one day liberals will understand this as well as the concept of personal responsibility, but I won’t hold my breath. The system will not be changing in any meaningful way. You guys are so stuck on jobs, salaries, and government help. The world doesn’t work that way anymore. Working hard and saving money is now STUPID. The government is printing $1 billion dollars a day.

        The colossal debt from all the wars as well as the social spending is crushing your hard work. Yes, those social programs are hurting the very people they are supposed to help. We didn’t get out of the Great Depression because of FDR. A devastated Europe sent the US tons of gold.

        Look up The Richest Man in Babylon. It is a quick read. The Babylonians were fabulously wealthy 6 thousand years ago because they understood the laws of money. The laws hold up today. Do yourselves a favor and become financially educated. The rich are not so by magic and luck and privilege.

  2. My only small complaint with this otherwise excellent comic, is that of the “remaining” half of the pie chart the majority should probably be divided between the second and third “richest people”, with the final little wedge left after that being “everyone else”.

  3. Someone: if the government took enough money away from people who exploit this country to ensure a living stipend for everyone, we’d actually have a vibrant economy because there would be money to spend. And if the government gave tax breaks to people who exploit this country but put their profits back into making and keeping it a nicer country, we’d actually have a country that wasn’t being polluted and exploited and stuff.

    And if *everybody* did that, things would be a lot nicer and unexploited and stuff.

    • The math shows you’re absolutely correct. Although the simple version of the IS/LM math is hopelessly flawed.

      Every family, given an extra $1, spends some of it (the theory says the family must spend some number strictly between $0 and $1, which isn’t always true, but it’s true often enough the deviation can be ignored without ruining the math). This is the MPC. Next the theory says one can take the average MPC for the entire economy (which is patently false, but the argument goes that it doesn’t matter, which is still false). Now, if the economy had an average MPC, if the government creates jobs and spends $1 on every family, every family will spend MPC, which goes to other families, who spend MPC of that MPC and so on. Since MPC is a number strictly between $0 and $1, the math all works out, and the federal jobs end up adding much more to the economy than just the $1 per family from the government jobs, and can put everyone to work, and the money people get increases tax revenues enough to pay off that $1 per family and run a budget surplus.

      But the TARP and stimulus mostly went to rich people who didn’t spend it, and when that happens, the whole argument breaks down. (But at least it was nice for the few who got TARP and Stimulus cheques.)

    • Do you really think that entrepreneurs and investors don’t concern themselves with tax law? Even if the US could close a bunch of loopholes, investors would leave for friendlier lands. If you don’t understand that that would depress the economy further, there is no helping you.

      How would punishing job creators a.k.a. entrepreneurs and investors with onerous taxes help ordinary people? Who would create jobs then? You? Jobs aren’t magic. Someone has to be hiring. Someone has to have the knowledge and the determination and the vision and the capital to start or expand a business. I’m glad I found out before I got too far into a miserable, destitute life as a socialist that socialists don’t know anything about economics.

      Let’s take Apple. I have never bought anything from them. I couldn’t care less really. But they provide products that many millions clearly prize and pay highly for. They earned their wild success. People seem happy to give their money away to them. If you’re going to mention their poorly paid laborers in China, well, I don’t buy from them partly for that reason, but most Americans don’t seem to have a problem with the poor working conditions of people who assemble their doodads. It would seem you should take up your grievances with the ‘liberals’ who buy these slave-made products instead of rich people simply delivering a desired product.

      This is the era of globalization. The jobs that have left are not coming back. It is long past time people learned to take care of themselves instead of expecting someone else to do it.

      • Addendum:

        There will be no return to a stable, secure, ‘vibrant economy’ so long as money can be printed. We will continue in bubble-burst fashion until the ultimate burst when nations of the world stop accepting the dollar for the garbage it is. The most terrible irony is that these recessions are the best opportunity for ordinary people to better themselves financially with a little knowledge. Everything is on sale, if one had the foresight to plan properly!

  4. so…someone PLEASE explain to me why this is bad?! The USA is 5% of the world’s population has 33% of the world’s wealth. Is it anyway our fault the other 95% has the other 66%?

    since most people are in debt, if you are debt free, don’t you have more wealth than most people combined?

    this might be problem….buy why?

  5. «The world doesn’t work that way anymore.» How fortunate are we not to receive on this poor thread the Gospel according to the Knave of Hearts !…


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