Top 1% Has 65 Times More Wealth Than The Bottom Half And The Global Elite Like It That Way

Tyler Durden's picture

As we previously noted, the 85 richest people in the world have about as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the entire global population does.  In other words, 85 extremely wealthy individuals have about as much wealth as the poorest 3,500,000,000 do.  This shocking statistic comes from a new report on global poverty by Oxfam.  And actually Oxfam's report probably significantly underestimates the true scope of the problem, because Oxfam relies on publicly reported numbers.

As Michael Snyder examines, the rot goes deeper...

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

At the very top of the food chain, the global elite are masters at hiding their wealth.  In fact, as I have written about previously, the global elite have approximately 32 trillion dollars (that we know about) stashed in offshore banks around the world.  That would be about enough to pay off the entire U.S. national debt and buy every good and service produced in the United States for an entire year.  These elitists live on an entirely different planet than the rest of us do.  In fact, according to Oxfam, the richest one percent of the global population has 65 times more wealth than the bottom half of the global population combined.

There is certainly nothing wrong with making money.  In fact, the founders of the United States intended for this nation to be a place where free markets thrived and where everyone could pursue their dreams.  Unfortunately, this country (along with the rest of the world) has moved very much in the opposite direction.  Today, we have a debt-based global financial system which is dominated by gigantic predator corporations and big banks.  Working together with national governments, these corporations and banks have constructed a system that I like to call "Corporatism" in which the percentage of all global wealth that is being funneled to the very top of the pyramid steadily grows over time.


The Founding Fathers were very correct to be very suspicious of large concentrations of power.  In the early days of the United States, the federal government was very small and the size and scope of corporations was greatly limited.  Our nation thrived and a huge middle class blossomed.

Sadly, over the past several decades the pendulum has completely swung in the other direction.  Today, our society is completely and totally dominated by big banks, big corporations and big government.

And of course this is also happening in virtually every other nation on the face of the planet.  The global elite have rigged the game to send just about all of the rewards their way, and it is working.  The following are facts taken directly from Oxfam's latest report...

•Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.

•The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.

•The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.

•Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

•The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.

•In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.

Starting on Wednesday, several thousand members of the global elite will gather for the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Switzerland.  The following is how USA Today described this conference.

For several days at the end of January, presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and corporate titans jostle with actors, rock stars and major influencers for top billing at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The confab takes place in the Alpine village of Davos, about 90 miles southeast of Zurich, and for a brief spell each year the pristine ski resort half-sheds its Graubünden roots and becomes a ground zero for the political and business elite.

Unless you are independently wealthy, you can forget about going to this conference.  A ticket to Davos is going to cost you about $30,000, and that is on top of the $55,000 that it costs to join the organization.

Needless to say, it is an organization of the elite, by the elite and for the elite.

This year, the theme of the meeting is "The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business".  And the founder of the World Economic Forum says that the time has come to press the "reset" button for the global economy...

It's time to press the "reset" button on the world, the founder of the World Economic Forum said Wednesday, addressing media ahead of the WEF's much ballyhooed annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, that gets underway in a week's time.


"The world is complex, it's fast-moving, it's interconnected, and we in Davos want to provide a mirror to the world as it is. It is not a meeting devoted to one set of issues. It's a meeting that address the complexity of our world," said Klaus Schwab, the WEF's founder and executive chairman.

At first glance, that sounds pretty good.

Personally, I would love to hit a "reset" button for the global economy.

But what the elite mean by "reset" is much different from what most of the rest of us would mean.

The following is an excerpt from the executive summary for the agenda for the 2014 World Economic Forum...

"At an international level, the formal architecture for global governance was not designed for the interdisciplinary challenges and collective action problems of today. As a result, international cooperation has yet to fully enter the information age and capture its associated productivity gains."

For the global elite, the answers to our problems always involve more centralization and more "global governance".  In other words, the answers to our problems always involve giving them more control and more power.

The elite never actually want the pendulum to swing back in the direction of the "little guy".  The elite are generally pleased with how the game is being played because they are winning.

Most people don't even realize that they are participants in a debt-based neo-feudalist system in which money is being used as a form of social control.

As I have written about previously, there is about 190 trillion dollars of debt in the world, but global GDP is only about 70 trillion dollars.

There is no way that all of this debt could ever be paid off at one time.  It is mathematically impossible.  Over time, all of this debt transfers the wealth of the planet away from us and to the global elite.  If this game was allowed to go on long enough, eventually they would have nearly all of it.

And some would argue that we are already getting close to that point.  A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research discovered that the bottom half of the global population only owns approximately 1 percent of all wealth, and at this point about a billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry every night.

This is one of the reasons why I am so adamant about the fact that the Federal Reserve needs to be shut down.  It is at the very heart of the debt-based system that we have in the United States, and over the past 100 years it has brought us to the brink of economic Armageddon.

Sadly, most Americans do not understand any of these things.  They just assume that the debt-fueled prosperity that we have been enjoying will be able to go on indefinitely.

So is there any hope for the "little guy"?

Well, you could try to win the one billion dollar NCAA tournament bracket contest that Warren Buffett is backing.

Or you could go out and try to win the lottery or try to date a famous professional athlete.

But the odds of any of those things actually happening are so low that they aren't even worth mentioning.

Personally, I would rather spend my time trying to wake people up and help them understand how our global system really works.

I believe that a "great awakening" is coming.

I believe that millions of people are going to start breaking out of the "matrix of control" that has such a tight grip on their lives and are going to start thinking for themselves.

I believe that as the darkness gets even darker that the light is going to get even brighter.  I believe that we are going to see "renewal" on a whole bunch of different levels.

Yes, a great economic collapse is coming.

Yes, there is going to be a tremendous amount of pain.

But it won't all be bad news.

The times ahead are going to be full of adventure and excitement for those who are willing to embrace it.

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kevinduhand's picture

I believe that a "great awakening" will never come.

I believe that people are never going to break out of the "matrix of control" that has such a tight grip on their lives.

I believe that as the darkness gets even darker, it will get even darker.  I believe that we are never going to see "renewal" on a whole bunch of different levels.

No, a great economic collapse will never come.

But Yes, there is going to be a tremendous amount of pain like always.


DoChenRollingBearing's picture



 kevinduhand writes:

"But Yes, there is going to be a tremendous amount of pain like always."

An excellent observation.  Tremendous pain aptly sums up our future.  My guess is that you are right are correct re no economic collapse.  Not probable, but certainly possible.

Your entire comment was superb, one of the best I have read here at ZH recently.  H/T!

+ a million

X_mloclaM's picture

Peru's sunny sol sour your history?

Distrust Mises?

Prices are mechanical, rather than subjective?

Or you just bank on smooooth hand-off from the collapsing fiats, powered by a revaluation higher for gold, as the asset replacing the others gone bad in the international monetary system?  This will go so smoothly, it won't have complex system impacts? There will be no issues swiming with the bankrupt EZ, Japan, UK, US... the creditor nations will just pitch in willingly ?


economics9698's picture

Translation of this article…a bunch of fat assed tribe members sit on their ass all day hitting the ctl prt key and the goyim are too stupid to figure out the con game.

The Mist's picture

The global 1% contains 70 MILLION people.

Probably a fair amount of people posting here belong to that group.

Hardly 'the elite'...

MarkD's picture

As long as I get to keep my NFLX @ $8 per month and the top 1% have to pay the top tier price of $11 then I'm ok with that

BLOTTO's picture

Love and beauty will win in the end over the perversions and dysfunctions...eventually, 'on a long enough timeline'


trader1's picture

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best... And...always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the light side of life... 

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing. And...always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the light side of life... 

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow. So always look on the bright side of death Just before you draw your terminal breath 

Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you. And always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the right side of life... (Come on guys, cheer up!) Always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the bright side of life... (Worse things happen at sea, you know.) Always look on the bright side of life... (I mean - what have you got to lose?) (You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing!) Always look on the right side of life...

Cymore Duttz's picture

What percentage of the population has a negative net worth?  I would not be surprised if 25% of people have a net negative net worth.  So my 13 year old, after mowing the yard but before going to Game Stop, would beat them.


Alternative's picture

To the working class:

We can always find somebody who will work for less, in another country if needed

To the non-working class:

It is all the fault of the working class, who won't pay enough taxes to support you

Over and out:

Your corpocrats that you vote for


PT's picture

Dear 1%

In order for you to maintain an income, the 99% needs to have some money with which to spend so they can buy your stuff.  Of course, you can always bypass such pesky details by having the Fed simply give you lots of money.  What?  Ohhhh, you already know that.  Sorry, my bad.

Dear Die-hard Capitalists

I thought "competition" was going to make sure such imbalances never happened.
Kind regards


X_mloclaM's picture

what free market capitalism ?

socialism / economic fascism via crony government intervention

X_mloclaM's picture

Lew Rockwell:

"Mussolini himself put his principle this way: 'All within the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State." He also said: "The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative.'

I submit to you that this is the prevailing ideology in the United States today. This nation conceived in liberty has been kidnapped by the fascist State."

PT's picture

How did that happen?  A couple of capitalists got rich enough to buy the important parts of the government.  How did those capitalists get so rich if competition was supposed to stop them from getting excessive profits?

The free market capitalism, that so many dream of, will never exist in this realm.

SDShack's picture

Understand the definition of a sociopath, and you will understand how the power elite become TPTB. The only way to stop a sociopath (absent revolution) is the rule of law established by the common man and judiciously practised uniformly against all citizens. There cannot be laws for the elites, and laws for the rest of society. The last vestiges of the true constitution and therefore the rule of law, are being gutted every day. There is no hope for peaceful change. The Rubicon has been crossed. It will get much much worse before there is even a hint of revolt.

q99x2's picture

I'm not a socialist, fascist, capitalist or any of that crap. I'm an open source government kinda q99x2. In other words the world is run democratically by programmers. Positions of King and Queen, President and all that horseshit is by lottery, strickly ceromonial and represents an opportunity for everyone to have rotten fruit thrown at them for being unlucky enough to assume the ancient positions of oligarcical assholes.

FreedomGuy's picture

Actually, you are one of those depending on what you believe about property, rules, rulers and how to trade.

I get tired of the stupid ignorant definitions of capitalism I see these days. Capitalism seems to be what anyone, generally a leftist wants it to be. It is anything considered, non-leftist/statist.

Let me give a you different term for capitalism, "Voluntary exchange." It is the voluntary trading of your property, labor and ingenuity without coercion. This always work. It also has nothing to do with "competition" except that competition tends to arise in any area that provides a healthy return.

A lot of you morons cannot readily analyze income differentials. If we have ten people and five of them suddenly become rich and the other five stay stable, you idiot leftists will cry about income inequality.

Similarly, when Jobs, Gates and others got wealthy no one got poorer. I believe Gates was the richest person on the planet. He did not go out and steal it. So, as long as someone does not steal it, then they earn it and own it and frankly they have to put the wealth to work which benefits all of us.

Those who steal it directly or through manipulation do it with the power of the government...the same government that is supposed to fix, stop or reverse all this income inequality. Governments generally create MORE of it or make everyone poor. Where are those 3.5b poor? Oh, yeah, they are in left leaning countries and traditional dictatorships. Leftist like to conveniently ignore this.

Don't be a leftist lemming.

gallistic's picture

"Don't be a leftist lemming"

Be a "rightist" Lemming!


Left/Right....Red/Blue... Capitalist/Communist....whatever.

A lemming is a lemming is a lemming.

jerry y's picture

Blablabla....  The system will continue on and on and on....Global elites play it very well.  Reset? probabaly not my life time.  i want to puke

Mr Pink's picture

I want them to have 65 times as much wealth as me

ZERO x 65 = I guess I showed them!

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Well, if the figures are true (probably), that is very ominous.  My family is in the top 10% (barely) in the USA, which would put us perilously close to the 1% globally.

Histopry has shown that extreme disparities of wealth typically have an ugly result (revolutions).

I know maybe one or two of The Elite.  I do not purport to know what they are thinking, but those Top 85 had best be laying low.  The kind of conspicuous consumption may raise envy, which is a very ugly and destructive emotion.

I still have not seen a good explanation of why The Elite need so much more money and power.  It can't be all due to many of them being psychopaths.  A close study by the right researchers would be very useful to the curious like me.

Bearwagon's picture

That's explained very easy: They know only one number, and that is "moar"!

SDShack's picture

Not psychopaths, sociopaths. Like the poster said above, the scorpion and the frog analogy is very true. A sociopath cares only about enlarging their own status. It isn't about the money, the money is a means to an end. The end is all about winning... at all costs, and making sure the whole world knows they are the winner. Their greatest fear is losing everything and being viewed as a failure, which is why they are on a never ending power trip to acquire everything. They are so dangerous because they are often intelligent and charming, but will do anything, say anything, violate any rule or law, and sacrifice anyone to achieve their goal of unlimited dominance, and justify it in their own mind as completely necessary for the greater good. They have no empathy, no sympathy, no compassion, only a single minded purpose. The ultimate con man. When their schemes start to unravel, they sense coming failure, but they don't change their MO because that would force them to admit their failure, and failure is kryptonite to their very DNA. Instead, they double down or go all in on their same disasterous policies, causing even more destruction that often ultimately consumes not only everyone around them, but even themself. All human beings have these tendancies, along with other tendancies that counter act them. "Normal" humans are much more balanced. It's those with the worst sociopathic tendancies that aren't tempered by other mental capacites that can be so damaging to society. On the flip side, this "drive" is what often allows a person to be "successful" because it pushes them to reach goals that many in society see as beneficial (wealth, power, business/job creation, philanthropy). It's all about balancing the sociopathic tendancy in all of us, which goes to your question about "why" do people need so much money and power?

failure to perform's picture

Also true of the medical profession. Most doctors are sociopaths. Replace money with their egos.

JustObserving's picture

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime." - Honore de Balzac

Look at the richest man and also the most admired man in this world.  He built backdoors into every operating system for decades allowing the NSA to spy on billions while raping the trust of his customers.  Yes, he has earned has fortune.  Even today, he defends state spying.

Then there is Larry Elison of Oracle who enthusiastically applauds NSA spying. No doubt, he has helped the NSA in every possible way at the expense of his customers.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has given his enthusiastic support for the National Security Agency's global surveillance of the internet and everyone on it.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Larry Ellison's Oracle got its first big break with a contract for their database with the CIA IIRC.  And we have seen that he views privacy as, well, quaint.

Your observation does not surprise even though I had not seen it before (enthusiasm for NSA's projects).  Well done.

satoshi101's picture

All of SILICON VALLEY has gone full retard SPY since Y2K, if your not working for the NSA, then your dead, all software sales other than MIL/NSA ended at Y2K.

Larry, knows who butters his bread.

Hell google, everybody got their first tier venture capital from the NSA/CIA, who has been in silicon valley forever, and before that the OSS/CIA ran MIT in Boston, ... nothing new.

Today at Stanford University, its accepted that the NSA/CIA provides almost all the good grad jobs, and certainly if your going to do a start-up, without CIA funding your social-net app is going no where.


dexter_morgan's picture

Have paid exorbitant licensing fees and worked with Oracle software for last 15 years. Anyone that has can only draw one conclusion -

Larry Ellison = Satan

satoshi101's picture

During WWII HITLER used IBM hardware to track jews for extermination.

today all the worlds spy assholes use the ORACLE database,

Making Larry Ellison one of the richest men in the world, hell yes LARRY has never seen a SPY he doesn't love.

NSA has given LARRY billions of dollars in orders, so yes, larry doesn't have a bad word for the NSA.

Probably safe to say that the NSA accounts for Oracle's #1 status as the world backdoor to snooping.

We know that the NSA paid RSA for a back door, we don't know how much they paid larry?


Muppetrage's picture

At some point Larry becomes a liability.

darteaus's picture

Most people don't know, but Oracle was named after Larry:

One Real Ass Called Larry Ellison.

Rising Sun's picture

Yes and the fucking socialism shit locks these cocksuckers into the top position for 100s of years to come.


And that fucking socialism shit ensures that there will be no rags to riches stories unless you are selected.


Fuck you Barry you nazi fuck!!!!

giorgioorwell's picture

Yeah, because none of this situation existed before Obama.  moron.

willwork4food's picture

The construct for the current age began with Johnson. His handler's were well aware the gold standard days were numbered.

satoshi101's picture


HILLARY-2016 don't lose focus on the queen bitch from hell.

The USA has always been what it is, a nation of parasites that elect the guy that promises to transfer the most wealth from the have's to the have-nots.

Today the USA is broke, but we can control the world by MURDER and like HITLER so long as the corpses have gold teeth we can FUND the game,...

alien-IQ's picture

You need a dictionary...for starters.

NoDebt's picture

"As we previously noted, the 85 richest people in the world have about as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the entire global population does. "

Careful, guys. This quoted number is freaking EVERYWHERE right now.  If you read the original OXFAM report there's another way to look at it from the same statistics: 1% of the world's population control 48% of the world's wealth.  Then they mix in a bunch of estimated statistics about "individuals and the world's largest corporations."  

Not that there is a light in which these numbers can be made to look pretty, but there's a lot of inflamatory statistical twiddling going on here.

Just in time for the new "income inequality" meme taking hold in the MSM.  Flame away if you must, but I would recommend against swallowing this pill without asking what's in it or where it came from.

dexter_morgan's picture

does seem like a concerted effort to get these numbers out there......

dick cheneys ghost's picture

must be an election around the corner..........

alien-IQ's picture

"..."income inequality" meme..."

Are you suggesting that no such income inequality exists?

NoDebt's picture

I'm suggesting nobody who is using it for political leverage has any intention of doing a damned thing about it.

If you're going to ask me a question, please wait for my response before you down-vote me.  We may not be nearly as far apart on issues as you think.


satoshi101's picture

A ticket to Davos is going to cost you about $30,000, and that is on top of the $55,000 that it costs to join the organization.


30 bitcoins, ... that ain't much

I remember when I went a decade+ it was $5k, ... which is not much more than a normal holiday conference...

They have tiers and student breaks and student membership,...

A lot of tech guys go to these meetings just to network, if you do the research you can find cheap ways in,

There are cheaper ways to find meetings like this, just find 'tony blairs' speaking intinerary, and you'll see the list worldwide of this shit, personally listening to Clinton, Gates, or any of these fuckheads is boring, they're speeches haven't changed in 30+ years.


WmMcK's picture

$55,000 = 1 oz Au (cost to join the organization)

will be < 30 bitcoins, ... really that ain't much.

rustymason's picture

Ecce: Democracy! Ain't it grand?

Ghordius's picture

yes, it is. democracy is a grand concept: sovereignty to the people. all other options have been tested, and ain't better. but democracy depends from the quality and quantity of the involvement of the said sovereign

meanwhile globalization (aka free trade) has having it's effects. instead of national ponds, we have one big global pond. and the goldfishes reach their global size

so instead of having for example one Bill Gates per country, we have one Bill Gates of planetary size

instead of many Apples, we have one. instead of many Microsofts, we have one. instead of having major banks of reasonable size, we have megabanks. instead many Facebooks and Twitters, etc. etc.

increase the size of the pond, and the ecology (which is an economy, too) of the pond shifts. it's all about size and Pareto's effects. the whole thing has very little to do with democracy, then democracy can only have a benign effect in one polity at the time

and the current world hegemon's polity has the majority of the goldfishes, and caters to the PDs, i.e. the major megabanks. caters to the major megacorps. caters to Big Biz

as Tyler notes, the founding fathers were not that keen on leaving corporations unrestrained. Adam Smith was wary of corporations, too. when this attitude changed, the US experienced it's first Gilded Age. welcome to the second - this time global - gilded age

falak pema's picture

we know how they begin but we also know how they end; alas!

Repeat performance is Man's only true recurrent imprint.

In the hope its the last time we see blood on the streets!

Encore !

What keeps Mankind hoping that this thingie will change one day?

The irrepressible lightness of being hates the opressive heavyness of disbelieving the true message behind the drama of enactions in front of their very noses. 

Stockholm Syndrome, like shelled Syria and droned Afghan, (Its not happening to us but to them, the suckers),  until we hit the asymptote of Totalitarians in black and brown shirts showing their true faces from behind their masks, in fully assumed repressive Hubris, like the streets of Kiev.

All the while the uber class sings in Virgin ISlands : We're rich and we've won; so don't bitch just do what you're destined to get done. 

Davos chimes and Bangkok growls. 

Eahudimac's picture

I would like to believe a "great awakening" is or will occur, but I don't see it. I've quit thinking that "the big crash" is just around the corner. I love zerohedge, but the people who need to know and understand what zerohedge preaches are too busy with thier fantasy footbal leagues and reality TV shows. Whenever I talked to people about these issues I get blank stares. They don't know they are serfs and they are perfectly happy in thier ignorance. Let's face it, the citizenry will trip over themselves to vote for Hillary in 2016 because she supposedly has a vagina. People want to be ruled by a vagina. I keep hearing it is time for a woman president. These same people think Benghazi is what you rub on sore muscles. You cannot wake people up when they don't give a damn. I just hope I can find a way to maneuver through the rest of my life and not let this insanity get in my way.

satoshi101's picture

My gawd I was told in 1970's that a peanut farmer would fix the USA ( jimmy carter )

Then I was told that a 1930's porn star name ronny raygun would create a new day in america.

Then Clinton who has 'smoked' would make us whole

Then kinder and gentler BUSH, and his 1,000's of point of light,...

Then america's first black pres came, and ohh it felt good, even though black leaders like Jackson said "obama ain't black"

then they told us it was the decade of the woman, and they made YELLEN the FED chief

Then they told us americas first WOMAN prez would bring a 'heart' to america, so we got HILLARY-2016


funny how this shit is bought, and sold and packaged. funny that it always works over&over,... funnny huh?

prains's picture

Dude...the NFL has worked a wonderous magical mind fuck on so many people it's almost so funny it hurts