Pernicious impact of the widening

The 85 richest people on the planet have accumulated as much wealth between them as half of the world’s population, political and financial leaders have been warned ahead of their annual gathering in the Swiss resort of Davos.

The tiny elite of multibillionaires, who could fit into a double-decker bus, have piled up fortunes equivalent to the wealth of the world’s poorest 3.5bn people, according to a new analysis by Oxfam. The charity condemned the “pernicious” impact of the steadily growing gap between a small group of the super-rich and hundreds of millions of their fellow citizens, arguing it could trigger social unrest.

It released the research on the eve of the World Economic Forum, starting on Wednesday, which brings together many of the most influential figures in international trade, business, finance and politics including David Cameron and George Osborne. Disparities in income and wealth will be high on its agenda, along with driving up international health standards and mitigating the impact of climate change.

The pernicious impact of the widening wealth gap

Walked-out Harvard economist and George Bush advisor Greg Mankiw wrote an article last year on the “just desert” of the one percent, arguing that a market economy is some kind of moral free zone where, if left undisturbed, people get what they “deserve.”

This should come as no surprise. Most neoclassical economists actually have a more or less Panglossian view on unfettered markets. Add to that a neoliberal philosophy of a Robert Nozick or a David Gauthier, and you get Mankiwian nonsense on the growing inequality.

A society where we allow the inequality of incomes and wealth to increase without bounds, sooner or later implodes. The cement that keeps us together erodes and in the end we are only left with people dipped in the ice cold water of egoism and greed.

Source : rwer.wordpress.com

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