Above: Poor rummage through garbage to survive in the Philippines, Photo: Wikipedia
As we repeatedly focus on wealth inequality in the United States (i.e.; just four hundred persons in the US have as much in assets and income as the bottom 50% of Americans), a video (see above) points out the even more extreme global wealth disparity.
There are many reasons for this. Take for example institutional sources that contribute to this trend. The World Bank, for interest, oversees “loans” to developing nations. But by creating long-term indebtedness, these struggling counties end up owing at least $600 billion dollars in interest on loans whose principals have, in essence, already been paid off in actual dollars.
These usorious interest rates end up in the hands of the bankers and the shareholders of the financial institutions that are inter-related with the World Bank through the nations that govern it, particularly the United States which calls the shots. Criticisms of the World Bank focus on how it creates financial conditions that result in debt dependency of the nations that borrow from it, therfore negatively impacting the economic prospects of the vast majority of its residents.
Trade agreements and global corporate exploitation of international monetary regulations provide resources and cheap labor to developed nations, while leaving poorer countries depleted. Is it possible that rich countries have increased the wealth gap from being 35 times greater during European colonialization to 80 times greater today? The video Global Wealth Equality contends that is the case.
This are just somes examples of how the economic cards are stacked by the G-8 and G-20 through the institutional and global corporate creation and manipulation of the financial rules. But when you move to the impact of global wealth distribution to individuals, according to Global Wealth Equality, the richest 1% on the earth have accumulated some 43% of the world’s wealth, while the bottom 80% of the planet’s inhabitants have just 6% between them.
There is an increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the United States. For decades, the nation’s assets have grown more and more concentrated in the hands of a few, while the rest of the nation makes do with the crumbs.
This skewed economic distribution within the US is reflective of an even worse economic disparity in the world in general.
The post-colonial era has actually accelerated economic injustice on a worldwide basis. What’s done in the name of helping the world’s poor (by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) is often really only a process of capturing markets too weak to fight back and indebting them to the masters of wealth without recourse. This has become abundantly clear in the World Bank’s policies of “structural adjustment” for the developing world, which might be best phrased as “you pay us the interest on our loans and impose austerity on yourselves. It will be good for you.”