2000s >> 2000 >> no-1152-august-2000
Glories of the Profit System
- The world’s 225 richest men have a combined total wealth of over $1 trillion—equal to the annual income of the poorest half of the world.
- Globally, the richest fifth of humanity holds 85 percent of the world’s wealth; the poorest fifth, 1.4 percent.
- The three richest men on Earth possess assets greater than the combined gross domestic product of the 48 poorest nations.
- Sixty Americans own total assets of $331 billion; the richest of all, Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates, owns $8 billion more than the assets of 104 million Americans.
- In the USA the richest one percent holds over 40 percent of the nation’s wealth, doubling their share in just twenty years.
- Higher-paid American citizens (e.g. executives, small business people, middle management) lost 10 percent of their wealth over the last ten years.
- The income gap between the best and worst paid US workers is now the most extreme of the 25 most industrialised countries—exceeding even societies like Guatemala.
- The richest fifth of the world’s population consume 86 percent of all goods and services, while the poorest fifth consume a mere 1.3 percent. The richest fifth consume 45 percent of all meat and fish and 58 percent of all energy used. [N.B. talk of “developing nations” is just nonsense when these figures are examined: resources don’t exist for them to develop, and even if they did, the Earth environment would probably collapse within a year if poor nations consumed as much as wealth ones. The term “developing nations” is really a code for impoverished, a status the elite seek to maintain as a permanent category.]
- Even without an expanded industrial base or becoming “First World”-type consumers, the poorest nations—where 800 million are hungry and 40 million are infected with HIV, could solve their basic problems of food, clean water and health care with only 4 percent of the combined wealth of the 225 richest people in the world.
- The real scandal of the age is that the rich are vampires whose wealth and privilege come at the expense of the premature death and dreadful sufferings of hundreds of millions of helpless innocent victims.
- Solution: Socialist Revolution.
(Information from the Mainstream Media Project, Bread for the World Institute, and the 1998 United Nations Development Report.)