A Detailed Look At Global Wealth Distribution

Tyler Durden's picture

By now it should be common knowledge to everyone that in American society, the top wealthiest 1 percentile controls all the political power, holds half the wealth, and pays what is claimed to be the bulk of the taxes (despite mile wide tax loopholes and Swiss bank accounts). The rest of the population is merely filler, programmed to buy every latest self-cannibalizing iteration of the iPad/Pod while never again paying their mortgage and brainwashed to watch 2 hours of prime time TV commercials to keep it distracted from the fact that the last time America was a democracy was around the time the Wright brothers were arguing the pros and cons of frequent flier programs. So far so good. But what about the rest of the world? How is wealth stratified in a global perspective? Where do the "rich" live? What kind of wealth is controlled by various countries? Where are the Ultra High Net Worth people? For answers to all these questions, and much more, confirming that just like in America, the wealthiest 0.5% control over 35% of world wealth, Credit Suisse has compiled and released its latest "Global Wealth Report." The findings are summarized here.

The first figure shows world wealth by region. The US, with its wealth of about $50 trillion, accounts for 25% of total world wealth, which at last check was about $200 trillion. And yes, Europe as a region has a slightly greater wealth portion (32%) than does America (31%).

When it comes to geographic distribution, it is to be expected that North America will have the greatest proportion of people in the ultra wealthy category. Indeed, the chart below confirms this.

Drilling down into asset composition in various countries, it becomes obvious why the Fed is so focused on keeping the stock market high. With America being the wealthiest country in the world, and the bulk of US wealth held in financial assets, offset by a material amount of debt, which confirms that a deflationary spiral would be the end for the "wealth effect" so desired by Ben Bernanke. More from CS: "Consider first the relative importance of financial versus non-financial assets, and the size of debt. Expressed as a percentage of gross household assets, the pattern clearly differs markedly between poorer and richer countries and regions. In developing countries (see Figure 1), for example India and Indonesia, it is common for 80% or more of total assets to be held in the form of non-financial assets, largely housing and farms. A high proportion of real property is also evident in transition countries in Europe, reflecting in part the wholesale privatization of housing in the 1990s. As countries develop and grow, the importance of non-financial assets tends to decline, so that the share in China, for instance, is now close to half. In the richest countries, financial assets typically account for more than half of household wealth. There are interesting exceptions to this general pattern. Recent robust house price rises have propelled the share of non-financial assets above 60% in France and some other major European countries. South Africa, on the other hand, is an outlier in the developing world, with exceptionally high holdings of financial assets: the figure of 80% exceeds the share found in both the United States and Japan." In other words, the more "developed" the world becomes, the greater the amount of wealth tied into the perpetuation of the Ponzi lies. Small wonder why so few in charge are willing to actually do anything that changes the status quo.

Next, it is time to drill down in the specific composition of the financial assets.

Figure 2 provides more detail, showing the breakdown of financial assets into three categories: currency and deposits, equities (all shares and  other equities held directly by households), and other financial assets for selected countries. To add further detail, in most countries the  reserves of life insurance companies and pension funds form the largest component of “other financial assets.” The composition of financial assets differs considerably across countries, especially with regard to the importance of shares and other equities. One interesting trend we note is that equities are not always a large component of household financial wealth, even in countries with very active financial markets. In the United Kingdom and Japan, for example, equities account for just 13% and 9% of total financial assets respectively. In contrast, they make up 37% and 43% of financial assets in Sweden and the USA, respectively. Broadly speaking, the relative importance of currency and deposits falls as that of bonds and equities increases. On the other hand, the portfolio share of “other financial assets” does not vary a lot, staying in the range of about 40%–45%. However, when we come to the UK, Japan and Colombia, which have the lowest portfolio share of equities, the pattern breaks down. The UK has a moderate currency and deposits share, but the largest “other financial assets” share, reflecting large life insurance and pension reserves. Colombia also has more in the form of “other financial assets” than is typical. Japan, on the other hand, which has a strong tradition of saving in deposit form, has a very large currency and deposits share and only a 35% share of “other financial assets.”

An interesting detour looks at gender distribution for asset holders in the US and the UK. As the chart below shows, in the UK women appear to hold more risky assets than men.

Looking at the history of global wealth per adult, net worth peaked just before the first ponzi/credit/housing bubble popped, confirming that a major portion of the then-record $50K/adult net wealth was imaginary. Yet it may have far more to drop: as CS says, "despite the financial crisis, the past decade has in fact been a relatively benign period for household wealth accumulation. Global net worth per adult rose 43% from USD 30,700 in the year 2000 to USD 43,800 by mid-2010. Since the number of adults increased from 3.6 billion to 4.4 billion over this period, aggregate household wealth rose by 72%. One important factor here was the depreciation of the dollar against most major currencies, which accounts for part of the rise in dollar-denominated values, but average net worth still increased by 24% when exchange rates are held  constant." The next question is how much latent dollar devaluation has been accrued to this point and how much more is due to only gradually emerge.

The next chart is rather self-explanatory. The richest nations, with wealth in 2010 above USD 100,000 per adult, are found in North America,  Western Europe, and among the rich Asian-Pacific and Middle East countries. They are topped by Switzerland, Norway, Australia, Singapore and  France, each of which records wealth per adult above USD 250,000. Average wealth in other major economies such as the USA, Japan, the  United Kingdom and Canada also exceeds USD 200,000.

And some more detail on the various wealth regions:

 

Emerging wealth: The band of wealth from USD 25,000 to USD 100,000 covers many recent EU entrants (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic,  Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Cyprus) and important Latin American countries (Mexico, Brazil, Chile), along with a number of Middle  Eastern nations (Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain).

Frontier wealth: The main transition nations outside the EU, including China, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, fall in the USD 5,000 to USD 25,000 range, together with some of their Far East neighbors (Indonesia, Thailand) and most of Latin America (Colombia,  Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador). The group also contains a number of African nations at the southernmost tip (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia) and on the Mediterranean coast (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt).

Finally, the category below USD 5,000 comprises almost all of South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, and almost all of Central and West Africa.

Next is a pie chart of with a detailed break down of wealth distribution by region.

Credit Suisse provides a look at geographic wealth distribution by decile:

To be among the wealthiest half of the world, an adult needs only USD 4,000 in assets, once debts have been subtracted. However, each adult requires more than USD 72,000 to belong to the top 10% of global wealth holders and more than USD 588,000 to be a member of the top  1%. The bottom half of the global population together possess less than 2% of global wealth, although wealth is growing fast for some members of this segment. In sharp contrast, the richest 10% own 83% of the world’s wealth, with the top 1% alone accounting for 43% of global assets. Figure 4 shows how the regions of the world are represented amongst the wealth deciles. Unsurprisingly for example, North America and Europe together make up the lion’s share of the top wealth decile (10%). China has relatively few representatives at the very top and bottom of the global wealth distribution, but dominates the middle section, supplying more than a third of those in deciles 4–8. The sizeable presence of China in the middle section reflects not only its population size and moderate average wealth level, but also relatively low wealth inequality. China’s position in the global picture has shifted upwards in the past decade as a consequence of a strong record of growth, rising  asset values and the appreciation of the renminbi relative to the US dollar. China already has more people in the top 10% of global wealth  holders than any country except for the USA, Japan and Germany, and is poised to overtake both Germany and Japan in the near future.

Next is the chart that everyone has seen as it pertains to America,
but few have seen in terms of the entire world. Per CS, Figure 1 shows
“The global wealth pyramid” in striking detail. It is made up of a solid
base of low wealth holders with upper tiers occupied by fewer and fewer
people. We estimate that 3 billion individuals – more than two thirds
of the global adult population – have wealth below USD 10,000. A further
billion adults (24% of the world population) are placed in the USD
10,000–100,000 range, leaving 358 million adults (8% of the world
population) with  assets above USD 100,000. Figures for mid-2010
indicate that 24.2 million adults are above the threshold for dollar
millionaires. While they make up less than 1% of the global adult
population, they own more than a third of global household wealth. More
specifically, individuals with wealth above USD 50 million are estimated
to number 81,000 worldwide.

Some more details on the various tiers of the pyramid:

Bottom of the pyramid

The
various tiers of the wealth pyramid have distinctive characteristics.
The base level is spread broadly across  countries. It has significant
membership in all regions of the world, and spans a wide variety of
family circumstances. The upper wealth limit of USD 10,000 is a modest
sum in developed countries, excluding almost all adults who own houses,
with or without a mortgage. Nevertheless, a surprisingly large number of
individuals in advanced countries have limited savings or other assets.

A
high proportion are young people with little opportunity or interest in
accumulating wealth. In fact, limited amounts of tangible assets 
combined with credit card debts and student loans lead many young people
to record negative net worth. In Denmark and Sweden, for example, 30%
of the population report negative wealth. This is an important and often
overlooked segment, not least in the context of the credit crisis.

Low
wealth is also a common feature of older age groups, particularly for
those individuals suffering ill health and exposed to high medical
bills. In fact, the means testing applied to many state benefits,
especially contributions to the cost of residential homes, provides an
incentive to shed wealth. Nevertheless, relatively few people in rich
countries have net worth below USD 10,000 throughout their adult life.
In essence, membership of the base section of the global wealth pyramid
is a transient, lifecycle phenomenon for most citizens in the developed
world.

The situation in low-income countries is different. More
than 90% of the adult population in India and Africa fall in this band;
in many low-income African countries, the fraction of the population is
close to 100%. However, the cost of living is usually much lower. For a
resident of India, for instance, assets of USD 10,000 would be
equivalent to about USD 30,000 to a resident of the United States. In
much of the  developing world, this is enough to own a house or land –
albeit possibly with uncertain property rights – and to have a
comfortable lifestyle by local standards.

Middle of the pyramid

The
billion adults in the USD 10,000–100,000 range form the middle class
from the perspective of global wealth. With USD 32 trillion in total
wealth, it certainly carries economic weight. This tier has the most
regionally balanced membership, although China now contributes almost a
third of the total. The wealth range would cover the median person over
most of his adult life in high income countries. In middle income
countries it would apply to a middle class person in middle age.
However, in low-income countries only those in the top decile qualify,
restricting membership to significant landowners, successful
businessmen, professionals and the like.

High segment of the pyramid

When
we consider the “high” segment of the wealth pyramid – the group of
adults whose net worth exceeds USD 100,000 – the regional composition 
begins to change. With almost 358 million adults worldwide, this group
is far from exclusive. But the typical member of the group is very
different in different parts of the world. In high income countries, the
threshold of USD 100,000 is well within the reach of middle-class
adults once careers have been established. In contrast, residents from
low-income countries would need to belong to the top percentile of
wealth holders, so only the exceptionally successful, well endowed or
well connected qualify.

The regional contrast shows up in the
fact that North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions account for
92% of the global membership of the USD 100,000+ group, with Europe
alone home to 39% of the total. As far as individual countries are
concerned, the membership ranking depends on three factors: the
population size, the average wealth level, and wealth inequality within
the country. Only 15 countries host more than 1% of the global
membership. The USA comes top with 23% of the total. All three factors
reinforce each other in this instance: a large population combining with
high mean wealth and an unequal wealth distribution. Japan is a strong
runner-up, the only country at present to seriously  challenge the
hegemony of the USA in the global wealth ranking. Although its relative
position has declined since the year 2000 due to lackluster stock market
and housing market performance, Japan is still home to 15% of
individuals with wealth above USD 100,000.

Top of the pyramid

At
the top of the pyramid, we find the world’s millionaires, where we
again witness a slightly different pattern of membership. The proportion
of members from the United States rises sharply to 41%, and the share
of members from outside of the North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific
regions falls to just 6%. The relative positions of most countries move
downwards, but there are exceptions. The French share is estimated to
double to 9%, while Sweden and Switzerland are each now credited with
more than 1% of the global membership.

And next, is a detailed look at the very top of the pyramid: those individuals which have over 1 million in net worth.

To assemble details of the pattern of wealth holdings above USD 1 million requires a high degree of ingenuity. The usual sources of data – official statistics and sample surveys – become increasingly incomplete and unreliable at high wealth levels. A growing number of publications have followed the example of Forbes magazine by constructing “rich lists,” which attempt to value the assets of particular named individuals at the apex of the wealth pyramid. But very little is known about the global pattern of asset holdings in the high net worth (HNW – greater than USD 1 million) and ultra high net worth (UHNW – from USD 50 million upwards) range.

We bridge this gap by exploiting well-known statistical regularities in the top wealth tail. Using only data from traditional sources in the public  domain yields a pattern of global wealth holdings in the USD 250,000 to USD 5 million range, which, when projected onward, predicts about  1000 dollar billionaires for mid-2010. Although not exactly comparable, this number is very close to the figure of 1,011 billionaire holdings reported by Forbes magazine for February 2010. Making use of the regional affiliation recorded in rich lists allows us to merge the top tail  details with data on the level and distribution of wealth derived from traditional sources in order to generate a regional breakdown of HNW and UHNW individuals. At this time, we do not attempt to estimate the pattern of holdings across particular countries, except China and India which are treated as separate regions. However, as a rule of thumb, residents of the USA account for about 90% of the figure for North America.

The base of the wealth pyramid is occupied by people from all countries of the world at various stages of their lifecycle. In contrast, HNW and UHNW individuals are heavily concentrated in particular regions and countries, but the members tend to share a much more similar lifestyle,  often participating in the same global markets for high coupon consumption items. The wealth portfolios of individuals are also likely to be  similar, dominated by financial assets and, in particular, equity holdings in public companies traded in international markets. For these reasons, using official exchange rates to value assets is more appropriate, rather than using local price levels to compare wealth holdings.

Our figures for mid-2010 indicate that there were 24.5 million HNW individuals with wealth from USD 1 million to USD 50 million, of whom the vast majority (22 million) fall in the USD 1–5 million range. North America dominates the residence ranking, accounting for 11.1 million HNW individuals (45% of the total). Europe accounts for 7.8 million (31.7%) and 4.1 million reside in Asia-Pacific countries other than China and India. We estimate that there are now more than 800,000 HNW individuals in China, each worth between USD 1 million and USD 50 million (3.3% of the global total). India, Africa and Latin America together host the remaining 740,000 HNW individuals (3.0% of the total).

The take home message is that the wealthiest people in the world have the bulk of their wealth entrenched in the current system and any dramatic overhaul or reset of the status quo will be met by the stiff resistance of those who can summon fleet of jets, private armies, and even Fed chairmen on a whim. Whether anyone will have the wherewithal to confront the broken system under such conditions remains to be seen.

And for those seeing more granular detail by country, below are the profiles of the 15 or so wealhtiest countries.

 

h/t London Dude Trader

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morph's picture

No surprises on the UK. A lot in housing and not much in equities.

Equities are not big here, mainly I guess due to not having the 401k culture that the USA has. Stuffing your money into a pension fund is though. Of course that just ends up in equities, or equities with a huge fee attached

honestann's picture

If the richest were richest because they were the most productive (after substracting whatever destruction they perform), then the richest would deserve admiration.

Today, however, the richest are almost all rich without being productive.  In fact, most are rich because they are master predators.

Let everyone enjoy/bare/suffer ALL the consequences of his own actions, and enjoy/bare/suffer ZERO consequences of the actions of others.

eatthebanksters's picture

That's not fair.  I'm not rich but I know a fair amount of rich people and most of them are very good, decent people who work hard, are smart and maybe had a little bit of luck.  I think if you did a population sampling of rich people you would find the same percentage of criminals as in the group of poor people.  The rich ones just seem to get away with it and give the rest of their crowd a bad rep.  Let's burn some of those bad boy fat cats and lock em up.

honestann's picture

That depends on who you consider "rich".  In the context being discussed, "rich" means super rich.  Sure, the further down the "rich" scale, the more "earned" [a fair portion of] their wealth.

But you are very wrong about percentages of criminals being independent of wealth.  The super-rich are ALL massive criminals.  That doesn't mean they never did anything productive, that simply means they get rich through unethical, non-productive acts.

This extends down to professions like doctors and plumbers.  A huge portion of doctor revenue exists due to unethical laws and regulations that force people to visit doctors to get permission slips to buy and consume medicines they need.  That is extremely unethical and predatory practice, and most doctors willingly paid their union (the AMA) to lobby congress to impose those laws.  If you forget the endless atrocities of this kind, you arrive at delusional conclusions about who is ethical and productive, and who gets rich by unethical, predatory behaviors.

StarvingLion's picture

that force people to visit doctors to get permission slips to buy and consume medicines they need

But can't ya see, those doctors (and the even more pathetic pharmacists) ensure the quality of the supply chain!!!  Har Har Har

And we can't have "The People" taking antibiotics like candy, no that would be bad.  The docs took an oath, they are very honest.  Just go inside a nursing home to see all the seniors in slumberland 24 hours a day.

snowball777's picture

Not all criminals are equally-abled...the white-collar jagovs make bigger messes than your average street punk with a chrome-handled 'gat'.

chopper read's picture

always great chartwork.  thanks. 

doolittlegeorge's picture

His name is "General Petraeus" and "he's not interested in running for office."  And in New York State "they deny active duty soldiers the right to vote" and in Upstate New York "they have 15,000 combat hardened heavy infantry" coming from the most deployed unit every year FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS.  If you want me get into specifics about "New Yorkers' outlook toward returning combat soldiers and their relationship and associations with handicapped people while working for the Federal Government" i'd be more than happy to.  Needless to say "it involved a Federal Judge" and he could have cared less about those handicapped people.

buchesky's picture

10th Mountain is light infantry, not heavy.

tired1's picture

Please, I'd like to know more.

toros's picture

Isn't it a bitch that you can't take it with you when you die.  I've got to get a better accountant.

Xibalba's picture

If Zerohedge was a hooker, I'd pay. 

nmewn's picture

Same here...but it might put them over 250k and then they would be qualified as "rich" ;-)

frankTHE COIN's picture

I would loan you the money.

williambanzai7's picture

That asset composition chart is interesting. I assume South Africa leads in financial assets because they convert diamonds and other percious minerals into paper assets.

We on the other hand take paper and create even more paper.

Village Idiot's picture

I saw a guy handing out T-shirts with the same likeness of obama this weekend, but the word at the bottom was "PLEASE".  I laughed my ass off.

williambanzai7's picture

Was he handing them out or selling them?

Kreditanstalt's picture

All this makes me wonder just exactly what a "financial asset" is really worth.  Seems to me that any actual value these have is determined solely by what others will trade for them.  In ponzi currencies.

I'd much rather be in the situation of, say, Indonesia.  Having the mass of my wealth in land, property or farmland, or perhaps in gold.

After all, such concrete assets will likely prove far more widely saleable in future than some overvalued spuriously-purported "asset" consisting largely of someone else's promise to pay a stream of fiat paper currency...

You and me, the landless neo-peasantry, stuck in suburb-land in North America or some other "developed" economy...better buy gold, because at least you can hold it in your hand, trade it anywhere and it won't blow away... 

Crab Cake's picture

I'm not sure if I agree with this articles idea of wealth, but then again most of the people and cultures that use a definition similar to mine have been genocided or indoctrinated.

That said, I have a one word solution and rebuttal... Jubilee.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Those of us who have no debts and have money in the bank (or stocks & bonds, etc.) better be thinking of what Jubilee means...

Buy physical gold!

Lower Class Elite's picture

$4,000?  Woohoo!  I made it!  Upper half, bitches!

chopper read's picture

wondering what the poor people are doing tonight?

WaterWings's picture

Watching teevee programming that demonstrates what happens when you fuck wit da police. Or, if their shift isn't over yet, thinking about what effort is required this evening to get wasted.

wisefool's picture

wasted before I started reading zerohedge. But I intend to wake up tomorrow and apply for unemployment benefits after 15years of paying into the system. Retirement age is going to be a flexible thing in the near term!

Lower Class Elite's picture

I prefer to call them "small people"...

chopper read's picture

"commoners" is the vintage term. 

FEDbuster's picture

sheeple, riff raff, hoi polloi, great unwashed, minions, multitude, plebeians, proletariat, rank and file, the common people, the herd, the plebs, the proles, the peons, the working class

chopper read's picture

"great unwashed" made me laugh.  thanks for that.

b_thunder's picture

What the report is missing is that in the USA most of the wealth is concentrated in relatively few hands, but the (now) public debt is "owned" by everyone. And since the taxes used to pay for the debt are collected from income (and disproportionally higher from earned vs unerned income) and not from consumption or wealth, the gaps between the middle class and the wealthy, and especially between the wealthy and ultra high net worth individuals will  growi ndefinitely.

tired1's picture

That was the entire point of the income tax.

chopper read's picture

this is why high income taxes slam the door on upward mobility for those who begin at the bottom.  upper class elites (such as Soros) love the idea of high income taxes because they've already acquired the base assets for effortless earnings.  meanwhile, the rest of us livestock can duke it out between "rich" ($250k ?) and "poor" earners. 

might we end income tax and introduce consumption tax, if we must, and thus reward productivity and job creation, and punish waste?  

 

...not that i'm into manipulative tax codes as such.  even when Soros buys a yacht he is creating jobs.  that is good enough for me!!!! 

snowball777's picture

This graph of effective rate vs income is not that steep, it is the middle class taking it in the hash pipe so quit yer snivelin.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0e/US_income_tax_2008.svg

If that's the case, and it's more like 10% or 5% effective on the way up, exactly how discouraged are people to have the extra $100k to $1M per year by working a little harder, even if they only get to keep $90k or $800k of that dough?

If they employ logic like that, they deserve to stay 'poor'.

When I say 'rich', I don't mean people pulling a salary. I mean people who can live quite comfortably off the interest on their wealth alone. The ones that don't pay income tax, if they ever did after their accountants and lawyers got done man-handling the state.

So jack up Soros' top-end rates and make the graph between 0 and $1M less steep for everyone else (you know, the people who actually participate in the economy because we don't have everything we need already).

chopper read's picture

If they employ logic like that, they deserve to stay 'poor'.

 

says god almighty himself.  ha, ha.  its all about 'deserve' with you, isn't it, snowball?  whats the matter?  not getting what you 'deserve' in life?  you better hope that you never do.

your points about 'interest' income are better than some of your very weakest points, anyway; so then tax 'interest income' differently than other 'earned' income. problem solved.

that said, lending money is not without default risk.  and lending money (investing in bonds) obviously helps the borrower by creating more demand for their bonds and lowering their borrowing costs.  this allows the borrower to become more profitable and hire more people to expand, which creates jobs so that low income workers have more opportunities to feed themselves.  all because billionaires invested their peacefully earned money into bonds.  see how this works, snowball?  so why punish success?  If Oprah earns a billion because folks enjoy her message, and she spends it on a yacht, then that creates jobs.  If she invest in stocks, then companies are better capitalized in order to create jobs, and if she invest in bonds then she lowers borrowing costs which creates jobs.  so why are you hating on Oprah?  does she not "deserve" her billion?

 

oh, snowball, is your 'defender of the poor' attitude really just player hating because you did not live up to how great your mummy told you that you would be?

...i'll bet it is.  ;)

     

cxl9's picture

*yawn*

Even the so-called poor in America eat better, live easier, have access to better medical care, have more choices in their work and recreation, and enjoy more political and economic freedom than the majority of people - rich and poor - that have ever lived throughout the history of human existence.

So people at the top have a whole bunch of wealth. Big deal. It doesn't mean you can't achieve financial success or live well. And even if you seized all that wealth and redistributed it evenly, your life would be no better. Not sustainably, anyway. Class envy is nothing but blaming the rules of the game because of your failure to win at it.

 

Crab Cake's picture

How does one win a game in which everyone loses?

...and no you cannot choose not to play. Your parents already bought you in.

What a foolish ignorant species we are.

Go ahead my man, go 'win' the game.

chopper read's picture

"our" parents were not as clever as "their" parents.  sorry, its true!!

so lets slam the door on upward mobility for ourselves by progressively taxing income to marginal rates that exceed 90%.  ...that will show the global elite!!!! 

snowball777's picture

Effective rates vs income...lowest in generations...and still you whine.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0e/US_income_tax_2008.svg

You seriously believe these money junkies will be 'discouraged' about making that last ten million?

What's your alternative scheme that somehow guarantees upward mobility while increasing taxes on the bottom of the ladder?

Your folks did you a disservice somewhere along the line.

chopper read's picture

snowball, you have got to be one of the most routinely self-righteous and ill-informed commentators.  i could say plenty about your folks, by how you turned out.  it must be nice to always be 'defender of the poor' like some kind of robinhood.  i'm sure it makes you FEEL like a great person.  what a joke. 

In a world of billionaires, you wish to tax people earning $250k as though they are 'rich'?  You do not see how this secures the place of billionaires and limits the opportunity of someone to join their ranks?

I'm glad you wish to be generous with other people's hard-earned money, AT THE POINT OF A GUN, no less. 

whatever makes you feel like a 'good person', snowball, although i seriously doubt you give much of your own money away.  I'd bet my left arm that the tens of thousands that i've given to private charities over the years dwarfs you REAL contributions to society. 

of course, nothing i say will change your mind, but i do believe you are an asshole, and i have no doubt that you are hurting the very people that you claim to defend. 

do you really believe that BIG GOVERNMENT (high taxes) help people?  GOVERNMENTS DO NOT "CREATE JOBS".  THIS IS A BROKEN WINDOW FALLACY. 

LOOK IT UP, FUCKWIT.  AND GIVE YOUR PARENTS A SLAP FROM CHOPPER FOR RAISING SUCH A PRICK.   

cxl9's picture

I don't endorse the present state of affairs; I merely accept things as they are. Yes, yes, we're a foolish, ignorant species and all that. Good luck hanging around waiting for that to change. That reminds me of some of the parents in my neighborhood who are dissatisfied with the public schools. They get involved and volunteer and go to PTA meetings and try to convince me to vote for more funding (taxes) for the schools and so on and so forth. I simply put my child in private school and am done with it. They aren't going to change anything, and meanwhile their children suffer. It's just a big waste of time.

There is a multiplicity of choices available to modern Americans that would have been unthinkable for the majority of humans who have lived on this planet. These choices exist whether or not the top x percent have y percent of the wealth. The reality is that there will always be unequal distribution of wealth, for the simple reason that in humans there is an unequal distribution of ability and opportunity. You're not going to change it, so learn to thrive within it.

chopper read's picture

yeah, clever folks always figure out the new set of rules.  its easy!!

rsfish's picture

You're not going to change it, so learn to thrive within it.

This is from Martin Luther King Jr's famous "I have a dream" speech, isn't it?


FEDbuster's picture

or you can just, "Look Like Money" Phil T. Rich (Yung Ralph)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDV9IeD_oIM

Raymond K Hessel's picture

Am I the only one who reads this guy and thinks to himself..."ignorant species?"  what is he think he is, some kind of fracking alien?