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Two per cent hold half of world’s assets.

 
 
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2006 11:42 am
Here is an ironic statement about this whole greedy mess the world is in.
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In contrast, the authors say "many people in high-income countries have negative net worth and, somewhat paradoxically, are among the poorest people in the world in terms of household wealth."
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Two per cent hold half of world's assets.
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December 5 2006
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Personal wealth is distributed so unevenly across the world that the richest two per cent of adults own more than 50 per cent of the world's assets while the poorest half hold only 1 per cent of wealth.
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A survey released on Tuesday shows that middle-income countries with high growth rates still have a long way to go before they have a hope of catching up with the levels of prosperity of the richest.
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Adults with more than $2,200 of assets were in the top half of the global wealth league table, while those with more than $61,000 were in the top 10 per cent, according to the data from the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University.
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To belong to the top 1 per cent of the world's wealthiest adults you would need more than $500,000, something that 37m adults have achieved.
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So much of the world's wealth is concentrated in few hands that if all the world's wealth was distributed evenly, each person would have $20,500 of assets to use.

Almost 90 per cent of the world's wealth is held in North America, Europe and high-income Asian and Pacific countries, such as Japan and Australia.
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While North America has 6 per cent of the world's adult population, it accounts for 34 per cent of household wealth.
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The concentration of wealth in different countries varies considerably, with the top 10 per cent in the US holding 70 per cent of the country's wealth, compared with 61 per cent in France, 56 per cent in the UK, 44 per cent in Germany and 39 per cent in Japan.
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According to Anthony Shorrocks, the director of UNU-Wider, the number of wealthy individuals in a country depends on the size of the population, the average wealth and its inequality.
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"China fails to feature strongly among the super-rich because average wealth is modest and wealth is evenly spread by international standards", he said.
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As countries grow richer, their population changes how it holds wealth, according to the report.
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In developing countries, property, particularly land and farm assets are important, while cash savings tend to dominate in middle-income counties.
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Only in certain advanced countries such as the US and the UK with developed financial sectors is there a strong appetite for holding equities and other more sophisticated financial assets.
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Debt is also low in poor countries because financial institutions do not exist to allow people to borrow.
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In contrast, the authors say "many people in high-income countries have negative net worth and, somewhat paradoxically, are among the poorest people in the world in terms of household wealth."
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Wealth is difficult to measure even in the most advanced countries, so the research was based on painstaking compilation of aggregate and survey data for the 38 countries of the world where it exists and statistical models for the rest of the world.
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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/41470ec0-845b-11db-87e0-0000779e2340.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 4,861 • Replies: 40
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2006 12:17 pm
I was at a stoplight the other day, and saw a homeless person holding a sign looking for money, which is a popular pastime around here for them.

I was thinking how that homeless person probably has as much liquid assets as some of the people driving BMW's who are in ridiculous debt, living paycheck to paycheck and off credit cards.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2006 04:57 pm
The rich grow greedier every day.
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detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2006 06:14 pm
Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if the very rich made a sudden choice. "I deserve my 100 million, but I am going to stop now and enjoy life.
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Would things be better?
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 07:21 pm
Hey, the creeps have okie and mysteryman and others to defend them here.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 07:52 pm
IMO, a person who has earned his money honestly, whether through work, investments, or both, has no reason to be defensive about it. I deplore people who somehow connect any sort of acquisition of money with something malevolent.


Sounds a bit like sour grapes to me!
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 08:18 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:
IMO, a person who has earned his money honestly, whether through work, investments, or both, has no reason to be defensive about it. I deplore people who somehow connect any sort of acquisition of money with something malevolent.



Sounds a bit like sour grapes to me!


I'm right with you girl.

$61,000 in assests puts you in the top 10% of the world?
Well excuse me for being ostentasiously rich.

I don't get it...people want to get a higher education, one of the major reasons for most to acheive this is to get a good paying job, you want that for your children, etc.

Then, you're a **** heel because you went out and earned your money?

blah blah blah about all the people who apparantly had money fall on them from the sky, or had the good sense to set up their finances to leave their heirs their wealth.

My father worked his ass off working 7 days a week for most of the year, and made buckets of dough, leaving behind millions in assets. I don't know why he chose to do this, but it wasn't so he could have someone else call him greedy. He was someone with a high school education that had no use for reading books or going to the ballet or other artistic pastimes, but I do know he never screwed anybody out of a dime, and people freely gave him shitloads of money for something they didn't need, but wanted, and they enjoyed themselves tremendously. No one held a gun to their heads to shell it out.

It's so easy to call someone greedy when you don't see what went into getting it, and make assumptions about what's being done with it.

It's always the people who didn't make a given amount that acts like someone's taking food out of their mouth.

I can't help it if someone on the other side of the world makes a dollar a day. I make what the market bears where I live, not in some third world country.

You know what would happen if wealth were evenly distributed? Within just a few years, 90% of the dough would again be in 10% of people hands.
0 Replies
 
detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 08:21 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:
IMO, a person who has earned his money honestly, whether through work, investments, or both, has no reason to be defensive about it. I deplore people who somehow connect any sort of acquisition of money with something malevolent.


Sounds a bit like sour grapes to me!

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Let's hope you did not mean me. I don't begrudge a reasonably honest billionaire his wealth. I hope he treated his employees well.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 08:32 pm
Chai Tea wrote:
You know what would happen if wealth were evenly distributed? Within just a few years, 90% of the dough would again be in 10% of people hands.


Amen, sister. The problem is, that most people have no idea of the concept of making money. For most, money is something to be spent. That is why you often hear of the phenomenon of people getting a huge windfall, like winning the lottery, and ending up being in debt in short order.

I have never begrudged the person who has made a fortune honestly. In my way of thinking, I need him, more than he needs me. He is the one who will provide the goods, services, and/or jobs that will make MY life better.

Sam Walton and Bill Gates are two of my heroes. Through their efforts, the world is a much better place.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 08:40 pm
Quote:
Let's hope you did not mean me. I don't begrudge a reasonably honest billionaire his wealth. I hope he treated his employees well.



detano inipo- I was addressing an attitude that I have observed often. If a person who begrudges a billionaire would only realize the effort that it takes to become one, I think that the attitude would change.

If a person took that animosity, and put the emotional emergy to productive use, instead of simply bemoaning and bitching about one's fate in life, there might be a lot more affluent people in this world.

One thing about living in the US. This country still responds to the better mousetrap maker, and it still is a place where a poor kid can become rich, honestly.
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detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 09:19 pm
One winter I was not in the mood to shovel the path from my door to the street. So I invented a better mousetrap and had no more problems.
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 09:44 pm
Wow, according to that article...I'm rich, beeyatch! HAHAHAHA!
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 05:42 am
kickycan wrote:
Wow, according to that article...I'm rich, beeyatch! HAHAHAHA!


Yeah..........but Manhattan doesn't count! Laughing
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detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 07:42 am
If all the poor in the US would pull up their socks and become rich, the States would be bankrupt. The very rich need the very poor. The millions of Mexicans that pour over the border are very welcome to the rich; they work for less.
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The US is a wealthy nation and has big problems of poverty, something the Scandinavians have overcome. Painting the US as the land of opportunities is very nice, but not very convincing.

http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/news/releases/child_poverty.htm
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 09:06 am
This topic is getting interesting.

I would argue that not all the children who are in poverty live in families that are poor because of some kind of unavoidable circumstances.

I recorded really interesting documentary about the credit card industry. All of us who have responded so far in this thread lived through this time, but I for one never really knew of the history.

Prior to the 70's there were credit cards of course, but they were not of course as widespread, and where not such a large percentage of a banks income.

Then, out in South Dakota, a law was changed. Back in the 70's the economy in SD was going down the drain, fast. There were old usury laws in effect from generations past, when the area was first being developed to prevent exploitation. The rates money could be loaned for was very low. So, in the 70's no one wanted to loan out money, since they could make more in other investments. People who wanted to borrow to grow their businesses had no place to go. Business was not growing, the economy was failing.

SD reversed these usury laws, allowing banks and other institutions to charge a higher rate, which the borrower was willing to accept, knowing it would let them grow their business. Everyone was happy.

Citi Bank, located in Manhattan, became very excited. Because of New Yorks usury laws, it could only charge let's say 10% on it's credit cards, but they were paying 25% to get money themselves. In other words, the credit card business was a loosing proposition.
But now, they moved their headquarters to South Dakota, were allowed to charge more interest, and people wanted these lines of credit. Shortly afterwards, Delaware dropped their strict usury laws, and DE became the credit center for the East Coast.

That's why, when we pay our credit card bills, it always seems to be going to SD or Delaware. Of course we have all noticed that those credit card offers that stuff our mailboxes come from mostly SD or DE also.

In light of this history lesson, we can, in hindsight, see where this was headed. It used to be that a family that was working and able to meet their basic needs, shelter and food, would have a little bit of money left over, and if they wanted something extra, they would have to (gasp) save their money, until they could afford it. Now, they no longer had to delay gratification, and could obtain that pong game, or go on that trip to Florida and pay it off later. However, and this is my opinion, because this credit card thing was so new, the older generation had no knowledge base to educate their children about wisely using credit.

This is not to use this as an excuse, and I hate it when someone brings up that old saw about "education". People are not that stupid, you don't need to tell someone more than once or twice that buying this item today on credit, and not paying it off right away will end up costing you a lot more than if you just saved your money. If someone tells you, "I didn't know that", well, now you do.

Obviously, this leads to the type of person Slappy mentioned. No liquid assests, but has a job, a car, and an ipod. Eventually a person in this situation hits the brick wall.

OK you say, what about people who don't have credit cards?

Well, chances are they had some kinds of credit at some time. Or, look how people live, what they buy. I love observing people in check out lines. We've all seen people who stand there and pick up some piece of crap made of pipe cleaners and a clothespin, and buy it for 5 bucks. Some people do this all the time, 5 here, 10 there. They will be the first to tell you that it's their right to buy this stuff. Well, ok then, but it's also your responsibility when you're short on the rent.

Being poor is very complex, and I'm in no way saying it's necessary someones fault they are poor. But, I'm not necessarily saying it's NOT someones fault. You know what? It IS a LOT of peoples fault they are poor. It seems we live in a time where everyone feels they "deserve" everything. You see it in commercials all the time…."You deserve this new car" "You deserve headache relief"

Ummm……why? Maybe you're a person who doesn't deserve a damn thing.

I think before fingers are pointed at the "greedy rich", we should address the "greedy poor".
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 06:07 pm
You really can't compare the US to Scandinavia. Totally different populations. What can work on a small scale is much harder to implement on a large scale.

Detano, your quote sounds a lot like Marx who insisted the Capitalist rich can not survive without the poor. It has never been proven.

I have socialist leanings in general, but I believe a free market economy offers the poor more opportunities to better themselves. I'm too tired to look up the actual study, but I know it was shown that of all the countries of the world, it's the US that gives poor people the greatest chance of rising out of poverty. Part of it has to do with our free education system and part of it has to do with our admiration of the underdog who pulls himself up by his own work efforts. We are a country that is willing to overlook social class if someone provens himself to be capable of doing a job. We don't care if he grew up in slums of Detroit or on Park Ave, if he works hard and get the job done we admire him. Few other countries have this attitude. I'm fairly sure the US has more self made millionaires than any other country in the world.

How many other countries have an Oprah, Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, etc. Think of immigrants like Carnegie, Frick, Getty, and Kennedy (Ok, he was a crook). All of them came from very poor or middle class backgrounds and made fortunes in the US by being smart, working hard and using the system to their advantage.

Yes, I would like to see more programs to help the poor, but let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 06:15 pm
Actually, this topic is off the rails. The problem is not with the rich per se but with the consolidation of everything. Here are two little stories -- one factual, the other a joke told by a comedian on television -- that should put this topic back on its feet.

1.) Wal-Mart accounts for something like one-third of the retail sales in America.

2.) The comedian said that he thinks all immigrants should be given citizenship and be allowed to pay in-state tuition at state universities where they should study computer programming and then be given great jobs in the high tech sector which will immediately be exported to India. "Welcome to America."

To say that anyone who earns his money honestly should be congratulated is rather naive. Business practice has drifted . . . make that run . . . away from anything resembling ethics.

I am currently teaching kids who can not remember the multiplication table and do not know the meaning of the word swamp (will not go into their curriculum, which these kids ignored). What sort of employment are these kids going to have? Surely, they will never earn enough to keep them housed, let alone fed.
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detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 06:44 pm
Being an innocent bystander I only have amateur opinions. If all the poor would better themselves, Walmart wouldn't exist, nobody would work there for minimum wages.
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If all the downtrodden would have the ambition and brains of the Carnegies and Kennedies, all factories would close.
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I don't know the answer to all these theories that blame the poor and praise the ambitious.
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If we watch the rich get richer and the poor poorer, we will lose our middle class. That spells big trouble. I healthy middle class prevents communism to take a foothold.
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I have been against communism since I was born.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 06:50 pm
detano inipo wrote:

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If we watch the rich get richer and the poor poorer, we will lose our middle class. That spells big trouble. I healthy middle class prevents communism to take a foothold.
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I have been against communism since I was born.


Detano, I suggest you learn more about communism. Communism was invented by the middle class and the uprisings that tried to bring it about were started by the middle class. Perhaps you are confusing true communism with fascism and totalitarianism.
0 Replies
 
detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 07:36 pm
Apart from a few well dressed men who wrote manifestos and made passionate speeches, I think that the millions who marched and fought were the poor.
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Some intellectuals in Europe fell in love with communism for a while. The people who really fell for it were the masses.
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I can't remember a communist party with middle class members.
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