Five Men Own Almost as Much Wealth as Half the World’s Population – commentary

It’s not a meritocracy. It’s an oligarchy. (Photo: Pixabay/CC0)

Last year it was 8 men, then down to 6, and now almost 5.

While Americans fixate on Trump, the super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of 06/08/17, the world’s richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.   [Read more]

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Comments

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On June 13, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Absurd. Unjust. Unsustainable.

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 13, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    New Labour is Dead. Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet Must Stay As It Is

    Owen Jones | The Guardian UK

    The idea that people won’t vote for socialist policies has been comprehensively debunked. Why change tack when Labour is in the ascendancy?

    The Tories’ self-immolation is quite the spectacle. Weeks ago, they genuinely believed they were on the brink of extinguishing Labour as an effective electoral force.

    They now have a leader with no authority; they will be rendered ever more toxic by their alliance with the homophobic, anti-choice, climate-change-denying fundamentalists of the DUP; a civil war between liberal Remainers, hard Brexiteers, and DUP fanatics beckons; there’s the tangled mess of Brexit negotiations while the British government is the laughing stock of Europe; both wages and the economy are set to slide on the Tories’ watch; every day means thousands of 18th birthdays across the country, and thousands of new Labour supporters, too.

    Labour already has a sizable poll lead – and the only way for the Tories currently, it seems, is down.

    What now for Labour as the Tories flap around panicking in their hubris-inspired wreckage?

    There is no shortage of briefing in the press about so-called “moderates” rejoining the shadow cabinet in the interests of party unity.

    This “moderate” term – which implicitly portrays the left as dangerous extremists – should be abandoned forever. Nearly 13 million British people voted for a Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn, after all, and it’s not exactly feasible to dismiss them all as extremists.

    Should Labour’s right flank be brought back into the shadow cabinet? As a general rule, surely not – and not for reasons of retribution on the part of Corbyn’s team, but sound politics.

    First, it would inevitably mean demoting those who proved themselves to be a successful team.

    Second, Labour needs representatives on television who can passionately and convincingly argue for the manifesto’s policies. Public ownership of energy, water and rail, for example, or the end of tuition fees. They will be pinned down by interviewers on these policies.

    Do you really believe in them? Really? And if it’s clear they do not – if enthusiasm is lacking, or doubts are obvious – what impression will that leave on voters? That’s why Clive Efford – who himself resigned from the shadow cabinet – is right to suggest Labour’s top team should stay as it is.

    Blairism, New Labour, whatever you want to call it, is dead. It owed its hegemony to, frankly, despair: the idea that socialist policies were electoral poison, and offering them to the British people would invite only landslide Tory victories.

    The idea that technocratic centrism in this election would have mobilised voters as Corbyn’s Labour did is for the birds.

    No, Labour didn’t win, but it won its biggest increase in vote share since Clement Attlee in 1945 and is far closer to government than it was, despite being hobbled with disadvantages such as the loss of Scotland before Corbyn assumed Labour’s leadership. The idea, therefore, that centrism is the only possible route for electoral victory is buried.

    I would say this, though. When Labour suffered several defeats in the 1980s, the left was expected to conduct post-mortems into its role in the party’s failures. The left was, frankly, vilified (wrongly) for delivering the country to Thatcherism.

    Since Corbyn first stood for leader, anyone who supported him has been portrayed as a deluded cultist. While many centrist commentators would, say, be at pains to understand Ukip supporters and what makes them tick, they often wouldn’t extend that basic analytical courtesy to those on the left.

    But surely now centrists should reassess their own belief system in the light of last week’s election results – that socialist policies are not an automatic path to electoral ruin.

    And yes, to avoid the charge of hypocrisy, I have to do my own post-mortem into my own failings, as a leftist who became disillusioned with the Labour leadership.

    It is important to distinguish between two types of Labour MP. One had no objection to Labour’s manifesto pledges, but doubted whether those policies could win support. The other also doubted those policies could win, but didn’t want them to win if that was possible.

    That’s the Tony Blair position: in 2015, he said he “wouldn’t want to win on an old-fashioned leftist platform. Even if I thought it was the route to victory, I wouldn’t take it.”

    The latter represent a minority of MPs. The basis for unity around a genuinely socialist agenda is there.

    No, Labour shouldn’t succumb to its own hubris. There should be no complacency. The Tories can be a viciously effective electoral machine and enjoy the support of almost the entire British press.

    But Labour’s current top team – with an inspiring vision – have taken the party far closer to government than most expected. And if the Tories continue their tailspin – and Labour continue to promote their optimistic message, backed up by a nationwide grassroots movement – then think what could be achieved.

    Both Attlee and Margaret Thatcher led transformational governments that established a new political settlement in Britain.

    Who knows. Perhaps the third transformational government is coming: one that could eradicate Thatcherism from British society for good.

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 15, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell – Donald Trump’s Miscalculation …..

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