Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 18th, 2017

World’s eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%

Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega (Spanish fashion chain Zara), Warren Buffett,  Carlos Slim Helú, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison and Michael Bloomberg

The world’s eight richest billionaires control the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe’s population, according to a charity warning of an ever-increasing and dangerous concentration of wealth.

In a report published to coincide with the start of the week-long World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam said it was “beyond grotesque” that a handful of rich men headed by the Microsoft founder Bill Gates are worth $426bn (£350bn), equivalent to the wealth of 3.6 billion people.

The development charity called for a new economic model to reverse an inequality trend that it said helped to explain Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

Oxfam blamed rising inequality on aggressive wage restraint, tax dodging and the squeezing of producers by companies, adding that businesses were too focused on delivering ever-higher returns to wealthy owners and top executives.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) said last week that rising inequality and social polarisation posed two of the biggest risks to the global economy in 2017 and could result in the rolling back of globalisation.

Oxfam said the world’s poorest 50% owned the same in assets as the $426bn owned by a group headed by Gates, Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Spanish fashion chain Zara, and Warren Buffett, the renowned investor and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway.

The others are Carlos Slim Helú: the Mexican telecoms tycoon and owner of conglomerate Grupo Carso; Jeff Bezos: the founder of Amazon; Mark Zuckerberg: the founder of Facebook; Larry Ellison, chief executive of US tech firm Oracle; and Michael Bloomberg; a former mayor of New York and founder and owner of the Bloomberg news and financial information service.

Last year, Oxfam said the world’s 62 richest billionaires were as wealthy as half the world’s population.

However, the number has dropped to eight in 2017 because new information shows that poverty in China and India is worse than previously thought, making the bottom 50% even worse off and widening the gap between rich and poor.

With members of the forum due to arrive on Monday in Switzerland, where guests will range from the Chinese president Xi Jinping, to pop star Shakira, the WEF released its own inclusive growth and development report in which it said median income had fallen by an average of 2.4% between 2008 and 2013 across 26 advanced nations.

Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Iceland and Denmark filled the top five places in the WEF’s inclusive development index, with Britain 21st and the US 23rd.

The body that organises the Davos event said rising inequality was not an “iron law of capitalism”, but a matter of making the right policy choices.

The WEF report found that 51% of the 103 countries for which data was available saw their inclusive development index scores decline over the past five years, “attesting to the legitimacy of public concern and the challenge facing policymakers regarding the difficulty of translating economic growth into broad social progress”.

Basing its research on the Forbes rich list and data provided by investment bank Credit Suisse, Oxfam said

the vast majority of people in the bottom half of the world’s population were facing a daily struggle to survive, with 70% of them living in low-income countries.

It was four years since the WEF had first identified inequality as a threat to social stability, but that the gap between rich and poor has continued to widen, Oxfam added.

“From Brexit to the success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, a worrying rise in racism and the widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics, there are increasing signs that more and more people in rich countries are no longer willing to tolerate the status quo,” the report said.

The charity said new information had shown that poor people in China and India owned even fewer assets than previously thought, making the wealth gap more pronounced than it thought a year ago, when it announced that 62 billionaires owned the same wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB, said: “This year’s snapshot of inequality is clearer, more accurate and more shocking than ever before. It is beyond grotesque that a group of men who could easily fit in a single golf buggy own more than the poorest half of humanity.

“While one in nine people on the planet will go to bed hungry tonight, a small handful of billionaires have so much wealth they would need several lifetimes to spend it. The fact that a super-rich elite are able to prosper at the expense of the rest of us at home and overseas shows how warped our economy has become.”

Mark Littlewood, director general at the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank, said:

“Once again Oxfam have come out with a report that demonises capitalism, conveniently skimming over the fact that free markets have helped over 100 million people rise out of poverty in the last year alone.”

The Oxfam report added that since 2015 the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.

It said that over the next 20 years, 500 people will hand over $2.1tn to their heirs – a sum larger than the annual GDP of India, a country with 1.3 billion people.

Between 1988 and 2011 the incomes of the poorest 10% increased by just $65, while the incomes of the richest 1% grew by $11,800 – 182 times as much.

Oxfam called for fundamental change to ensure that economies worked for everyone, not just “a privileged few”.

Note: Wealthiest 62 persons own half the global wealth or $3.6 trillion
1% of the richest own 99%o of global wealth or $7.6 trillion.

Question 1: what the wealth of the 62 person represents to the 1% richest?
Question 2: How many of the 62 families represent of the number of multinational companies?

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Rahm Emanuel pays the price for Not pandering

March 5, 2015

A RUNOFF election next month to determine if Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets a second term appears to be close.

His opponent, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, is not as well known and has far less campaign money, but recent polls show him within single digits of Mr. Emanuel.

Democratic Party purists and special interest groups have reached the startling conclusion that the able and decidedly liberal incumbent is not liberal enough, and they are intent on punishing him for not toeing their line.

If there is no room in the party for a pragmatic progressive like Mr. Emanuel, who was President Obama’s first chief of staff in the White House, then the party, and by extension the country, are in trouble.

Mr. Emanuel last month became the first sitting mayor in Chicago history forced into a runoff when he failed to get 50 percent of the vote in a five-way nonpartisan election.

On April 7, he will face Mr. Garcia, a Democratic Cook County commissioner who got 34 percent of the vote to Mr. Emanuel’s 45 percent and is being backed by labor interests and the left-wing groups allied with them.

It shouldn’t escape notice that Mr. Emanuel’s willingness to take on these very same unions as he tackled some of the city’s most pressing problems landed him in political trouble in the first place. Instead of ignoring, for example, the grossly underfunded pensions of government employees that threaten to drive the city into bankruptcy, Mr. Emanuel engineered sensible reforms to the municipal and laborers pensions and is intent on fixing the police and firefighter funds.

Where Mr. Emanuel was most fearless — and where, as the New York Times recently reported, he seems to be reaping the angriest payback from riled unions — is in school reform.

He backed the closing of dozens of underused and underperforming schools, insisted on a longer school day and school year, toughened teacher evaluations and helped expand charter schools.

These reforms have produced encouraging results: graduation rates up, suspensions and expulsions down, more African American students taking Advanced Placement classes.

But success for long-neglected children appears immaterial to a teachers union focused on protecting its turf. Mr. Garcia got into the race at the urging of Chicago Teachers Union leaders, who along with their national affiliate are leading the charge against the mayor.

Mr. Emanuel is not the only Democrat who, faced with choices in governing, has opted for the general welfare over special interests and as a result incurred their wrath. New York Gov.

Andrew Cuomo and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, for example, faced similar pushback, but happily voters in their states ended up backing their sensible approaches to government finance and services.

What unites these progressive Democrats is not an allegiance to corporations, as the slurs might have you think, but a recognition that their predecessors made unaffordable deals that can’t be fully honored without harming people who lack powerful advocates: poor students, people who use city playgrounds, patients in public clinics.

We hope sufficient numbers of Chicago voters can look at that bigger picture.

Note: The father of Rahm was a terrorist Zionist who bombed buses carrying British soldiers in Palestine. File of his father was deleted in Wikipedia once Rahm was appointed Chief of Staff for Obama


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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