These pie charts come from the Washington Post Wonkblog. First there’s one symbolizing what US survey respondents said they though would be the ideal distribution of wealth:
But in fact we in the US have this distribution:
Or, if you want to show just how skewed things are, you could represent it like this:
Of course the GOP tax plan being rammed through Congress will just make all this worse.
Myself, I think Herbert Stein’s law applies here (“Trends that can’t continue, won’t.”). Sooner or later there will be a reaction, or more accurately a counter-reaction. If we are lucky, it will be systemic and electoral and we’ll get a progressive government. If we are less fortunate, and we just get just Third Way types or more gridlock, there’s a risk the counter-reaction will be more revolutionary and more violent. (And I don’t mean that the top .1% will get pie in the face.)
Visual poetry in this case.
According to Oxfam’s Working for the Few: Political capture and economic inequality, 85 of the world’s richest people own the same amount of wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population.
Expand the focus to the richest 1%, and Oxfam reports they have about $110 trillion in wealth (46% of the total) which is 65 times the $1.7 trillion (about 0.7% of the total) held by the bottom half of the population.
Makes you feel that “The Owner” is not just a Neal Asher dystopian fantasy.
Naked Capitalism has more about Why Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee Puts Borrowers at Risk. Serious tax stuff. Not only isn’t this simple, but it actually does seem to carry real risks all around.
Previously: Tax Risks in Occupy Wall Street’s Debt Jubilee (11/18/12) and OWS to Buy, Forgive Distressed Consumer Debt (11/08/12)