While the cheerleaders for neoliberalism try to downplay its significance or sweep the figures under the carpet, the stark and ugly fact is that  the rich are getting richer at the expense of everyone else.

THE FAT CATS are getting fatter at the expense of everyone else. In fact the level of economic  inequality is widening at an accelerating pace.

According to the Global Wealth Report  2014 published by  the Credit Suisse Bank, the richest 1% of the world's population now own 48% of the world's wealth. The top 10% owned 86% and the bottom 50% owned less than 1% of all the wealth. Indeed billions of people have nothing at all.

Inequality is now at its highest level since the Great Depression.

Aid agency Oxfam said in a media release:

“These figures give more evidence that inequality is extreme and growing, and that economic recovery following the financial crisis has been skewed in favour of the wealthiest. In poor countries, rising inequality means the difference between children getting the chance to go to school and sick people getting life saving medicines."

Inevitably this accelerating rate of inequality  leads to calls for more legislation and more government controls to prevent the level of inequality getting any wider. But while  controls can be brought to bear on the activities of the wealthy elite, this would make no difference to those whose income is either derived from working for wages or who have no source of income at all.  The way out is to remove the unjust economic system that is at the root of the problem.

As economist Michael Roberts has observed:

"All class societies have generated extremes of inequality in wealth and income.  That is the point of a rich elite (whether feudal landlords, Asiatic warlords, Incan and Egyptian religious castes, Roman slave owners etc) usurping control of the surplus produced by labour.  But past class societies considered that normal and ‘god-given’. Capitalism on the other hand talks about free markets, equal exchange and equality of opportunity.  But the reality is no different from previous class societies."


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