The Times Rich List

Just perused the “Rich List” published every year by the Times and the fact that we have such a list says something about the culture we live in and what obsesses us and we also see that the gap between the rich and the poor has grown much much bigger in the last few years and which I feel is the greatest problem in the world.

Those who often suffer because they have too much of everything and those who suffer because they have nothing of anything. Oxfam tells us that last year, the hundred richest people earned enough to end extreme poverty four times over. Wow! Also the richest 200 people in the world have about $2.7 trillion, which is more than the poorest three and a half billion, who only have about $2.2 trillion combined. Wow!

This is not blaming the super rich, very many of whom give away lots of money and do great good in the world, but this great disparity is a reflection of our dysfunctional system which seems to me to be divided between three distinct economies, each of which seems to be governed by different laws.

One economy exists for the super rich, where super expensive art, property, etc. continues to go up and up in price whilst risks are minimal and clever accountants allow one to pay minimal tax. Another exists for middling people like most of us who do pay tax but is inherently insecure, and a whole other economy – or “non-economy” – exists – or fails to exist – for the super poor who have little help from the system and who often live in “sacrifice zones” on the planet and who have no hope on their own of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. It makes me feel very sad.

Perhaps the Times next year should publish a ‘Poor list,’ so we can see the true state of the world, how much poorer people have become the world over, only I guess that wouldn’t be sexy, would it, it wouldn’t sell newspapers and it ain’t something many of us “denialists” like to look at!

 

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