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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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Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:48 | 4357690 kevinduhand
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.


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:36 | 4357726 DoChenRollingBearing
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

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 02:08 | 4358062 X_mloclaM
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 ?


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 07:52 | 4358260 economics9698
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.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 08:33 | 4358289 The Mist
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'...

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:58 | 4357736 MarkD
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

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 01:04 | 4357998 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

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


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 02:28 | 4358080 trader1
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...

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:45 | 4357695 Cymore Duttz
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.


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:48 | 4357699 Alternative
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


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 00:32 | 4357959 PT
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


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 02:15 | 4358067 X_mloclaM
X_mloclaM's picture

what free market capitalism ?

socialism / economic fascism via crony government intervention

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 02:27 | 4358079 X_mloclaM
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."

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:10 | 4358783 PT
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.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:44 | 4360121 SDShack
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.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:52 | 4357702 q99x2
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.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 03:20 | 4358121 FreedomGuy
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.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:30 | 4359641 gallistic
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.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:50 | 4357704 jerry y
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

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:51 | 4357705 Mr Pink
Mr Pink's picture

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

ZERO x 65 = I guess I showed them!

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:51 | 4357708 DoChenRollingBearing
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.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 03:08 | 4358109 Advoc8tr
Thu, 01/23/2014 - 05:00 | 4358185 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

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

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 17:26 | 4360205 SDShack
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?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 20:51 | 4360904 failure to perform
failure to perform's picture

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

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:58 | 4357712 JustObserving
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.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:00 | 4357740 DoChenRollingBearing
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.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:32 | 4357848 satoshi101
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.


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:05 | 4357762 dexter_morgan
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

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:09 | 4357776 satoshi101
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?


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:16 | 4357808 Muppetrage
Muppetrage's picture

At some point Larry becomes a liability.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 02:49 | 4357822 darteaus
darteaus's picture

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

One Real Ass Called Larry Ellison.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:53 | 4357714 Rising Sun
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!!!!

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:56 | 4357723 giorgioorwell
giorgioorwell's picture

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

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:22 | 4357825 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

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

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:27 | 4357841 satoshi101
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,...

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:26 | 4357840 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

You need a dictionary...for starters.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 22:55 | 4357719 NoDebt
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.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:00 | 4357738 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

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

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:02 | 4357750 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

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

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:25 | 4357836 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

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

Are you suggesting that no such income inequality exists?

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:41 | 4357855 NoDebt
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.


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:04 | 4357759 satoshi101
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.


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:12 | 4357784 WmMcK
WmMcK's picture

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

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

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:07 | 4357769 rustymason
rustymason's picture

Ecce: Democracy! Ain't it grand?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 04:33 | 4358171 Ghordius
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

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 10:48 | 4358707 falak pema
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. 

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:07 | 4357774 Eahudimac
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.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:13 | 4357791 satoshi101
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?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 01:06 | 4358005 prains
prains's picture

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

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 02:34 | 4358082 trader1
trader1's picture

yep, the marijuana bowl is not a fluke.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:10 | 4357783 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

More Marxist class warfare bullshit. The bottom 3.5 billion people live hand to mouth. They have no wealth- here I am defining wealth as assets you could list on a loan application. A single retired auto worker has more wealth that the 3.5 million at the bottom. 

Nial Ferguson's "Six Killer Apps" explain why some societies/countries outperform others.

1) Competition

2) Modern science

3) Private property

4) Modern medicine

5) The consumer society

6) Work ethic

Why is Ameica failing? I can see that several of these "Apps" are no longer being followed.

1) Competition - we have crony capitalism

2) private property - the government at all levels seizes private property in the way of high taxes.

3) Work ethic. A failed education system, excessively long unemployment assistance. The government is endowing laziness.

The fact of the matter is that Marxism has never worked anywhere. We would do better by trying to correct items 10 3) and 6).

Incidentally 5) is why Mark Zukerberg, Bill Gates, the Google execs are all wealthy. Nobody forces anybody to use Facebook, Windows, or use Goole search engine.


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:22 | 4357826 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Define "outperform" in the context in which you use it.

And in case you forgot how you used it:

"why some societies/countries outperform others."

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:53 | 4357878 satoshi101
satoshi101's picture


YEP, this list is like a FUCKING "TED TALK" at DAVOS

Here's the real deal


The USA is king the USD is king cuz the USA is MURDER 24/7 the entire fucking world.

No where on this list is MURDER, but KILLER is on the list what lets one country OUT-KILL the other, normally its TECHNOLOGY.

Probably the biggest difference between MIL-MINDS (RIGHT) and TED-MINDS@DAVOS(left) is that MIL minds are the PTB,  and left minds talk SHIT on ZH, and at DAVOS.

I summary the MIL-RIGHT is the PTB, and the LIB-LEFT bitch and moan about 'equality', but say NOTHING about 'murder'.


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 00:16 | 4357937 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

Nial Ferguson is taking in terms of economic outperformance.


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:23 | 4357831 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:13 | 4357796 Hungarian Pengos
Hungarian Pengos's picture

This has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand, but I bought a 4-pack of Marwhal tonight and I'll be damned if it isn't the best Russian stout ever other than maybe Old Rasputin.

Oh, and fuck Jon Corzine straight to hell.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:19 | 4357814 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

great beers but I thought Bells Expedition Stout was better

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:14 | 4357797 Otacon
Otacon's picture

The same Oxfam report makes clear that while the gap between rich and poor grew in such obscene way in the "developed" world, Latin American economies significantly reduced it, but I see little comment on that.  I wonder why.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:16 | 4357807 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Sorry, but that list is crap.

For example, Putin is not on the list.  He controls nuclear weapons, has several palaces and a family wealth of $B+.  The family of Hugo "Friend of the Poor" Chavez was reportedly left $2+B.  He's not on the list either.  Chinese princelings-MIA.

The list just has the usual capitalist suspects: Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, etc. because, "Capitalism is bad, and we need to implant and feed guilt and rage for change"!

'Tevuh.  We have Fascism in the States now, not Capitalism: Corporations protecting Government, Government protecting Corporations, Media Propoganda Complex, All-Knowing Security Apparatus, One Party State (coming soon).

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:22 | 4357827 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 09:15 | 4358380 Woodhippie
Woodhippie's picture

Who would down vote your comment?  Seriously.  Those that did should take some time and explain.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:56 | 4357829 satoshi101
satoshi101's picture

USA world leader ... uh yes


1) Competition

[ a few years post ww2 ... now once a hairlip always a hairlip ]

2) Modern science

[ yep, usa higher than zimbabwe for read,write, arith]

3) Private property

[yep, the right to pay property tax, that can cost more than 'RENT', ]

4) Modern medicine

[ if your rich, otherwise you die ]

5) The consumer society

[ oh yea, beanie baby's, bitcoin, and cabbage patch dolls ]


6) Work ethic

[ METH, binge drinking, ... selfie sex videos, ... live with parents in basement all your life,... DUDE ... ].


[ Hell, yes, hands down, nobody comes close to murder, to imprisonment, to torture, to anything of human suffering to the USA, and as such 1->6 above dont' mean shit, cuz the meanest asshole on earth has always been the PTB. ]


Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:33 | 4357846 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Seems to me that the only thing to do for the Elite, is to D&C (Divide & Conquer) their fedual/neo-feudal subjects.  I.e...

/ Time to play the Left vs Right, Liberal vs Conservative verbal fighting and begging for election money from these same subjects/serfs, to finance it all.  Heck, even 90% of Libertarians salivate at each Socialist/Communist meme, just like Pavlov's dogs. /sarc

As long as the sheeple don't discuss the truth, i.e. the Cleptocracy, the Neo-Feudalism, the Crony Capitalism, all is well for them.

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:42 | 4357866 satoshi101
satoshi101's picture

it's always been this way for all TIME, 97% have shit, and 3% have everything,

It's human nature, most don't save,

Even now, the smart rich already left the USA, ... that's why the US has now gone full retard, with nobody left to tax,


The rich are afraid and some want to fix, and other's like Gates know to buy a desert island far from humanity.

The notion that the PTB think about the proles is ABSURD, the PTB are too busy golfing and fucking and living.

The COPS, that's their job to control the proles.

But hell yes I agree here on ZH, the bit-tards pavlovian salivate when they hear ron-paul or bitcoin, and then they go insane when they hear krugman,... the left is no different than the right-wing here on ZH, I can remember years ago say 20+ where if you said "ron paul' the jewish lesbians would kill you ....


There is no point to any of this the RICH can't be bothered the modern police state controls the PROLES, even here on ZH you have to have MONEY just to talk shit, as internet/computers aren't free, so here on ZH your seeing the top 10% of humanity.

There has always been RICH, read "Richest man in Babylon" (BOOK), its 4,000 years old tells why most people in all cultures are rich, and why there are so many poor, and why even RICH usually go back to poor in 3 generations.

HUMANS are hard-wired to be STUPID.

Enough Said.


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 03:39 | 4358139 Yenbot
Yenbot's picture

Satoshi, you are displaying your bipolar style again. I like your:

[ manic]

Posting style

[way MORE]

than your

[ depressive style ] !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:20 | 4359334 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Where exactly have they gone then?  You see this BS figment brought up all the time about the 'smart elite' or 'smart rich' leaving the US yet there isn't a single number out there to support it or even hint at. 

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 00:11 | 4357867 Battleaxe
Battleaxe's picture

And they devised a network television show called Revolution, the concept of which initially seemed prime for the era of uncertainty of the financial crisis, but predictably has nothing to do with revolution and only makes the concept seem so boring and pointless that the disgruntled rabble lured into watching it are misdirected by it and left confused and empty. Damned elite spin doctors!

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:48 | 4357885 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture




Fuck You.   You belong to the Earth too and your "All Seeing Eye" is a joke anymore.


Time for a new gig, busting rocks on this rock.  just as soon as your miners and wage slaves get their shit together, that is.



Thu, 01/23/2014 - 00:22 | 4357946 W74
W74's picture

How many of those 85 are kikes or at least soul-suckers with heeb cock in their mouths?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 00:43 | 4357974 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

If you have not sen the Tax Free Tour documentary it's a good one about the big 4 accounting agencies and their corruption and how they set up the tax havens and it also goes into how they work to to make sure in the public images that the CEOs don't get connected with this part of the business, it's a big PR campaign...

The world leaders from what I have heard don't know math and Bill Gates is about the only one who understand how to bring the virtual algorithms and software world together with the real world..Davos needs a dose of him to explain how this works and how to both unite and separate the two when needed..they don't get it..

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 01:59 | 4358052 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

"... debt-based global financial system which is dominated by gigantic predator corporations and big banks.

Working together with national governments ..."

The most important question to ask and answer is HOW did the big banks, and the corporations that grew up around those banks that could make the public "money" supply out of nothing, as debts, GET TO BE "Working together with national governments ???"

The answers to explain WHY it happened that almost all the successful and surviving politicians ended up being political puppets for the banksters and their buddies, while then the masses of muppets could be routinely tricked to vote for that system, are the necessary ANSWERS regarding any realistic solutions for these runaway social problems, which I believe are driving themselves madly towards their own self-destruction, due the paradox of final failure from too much successful fraud being able to control civilization for too long ...

The ruling classes were able to "work together with national governments" because those ruling classes applied the methods of organized crime to be able to take control of the political processes, primarily through the funding of the political processes, which including paying for politicians that could not be bribed or intimidated to be discredited or destroyed. Of course, facing those facts returns us to the point where the problems seem so overwhelming that there are no practical solutions, other than to wait and watch as the runaway debt slavery systems driving themselves through generating debt insanity numbers, which result in crazy collapse into chaos of civilization as it currently exist. But nevertheless, despite the apparent practical impossibility of actually doing anything differently, I will assert that the theoretical solutions must necessarily be found within the principles and methods of organized crime, because those are the real reasons why those problems actually developed. Both in the short-term, as well as in the longer term, the only genuinely better resolutions of chronic political problems for the future of humanity require better understanding of the fractal application of the principles and methods of organized crime, and most importantly, the development of better death control systems, to back up better debt control systems, because money is measurement backed by murder.

However, obviously, right now, the false fundamental dichotomies views of these problems are too prevalent, and too dominant, which means that the ruling classes tend to only be opposed by controlled opposition groups, which promote various impossible ideals, which can never work, but only actually backfire badly, to make things become even worse. To understand the social polarization (and related destruction of the natural world) problems better requires understanding human activities as general energy systems, which in turn results in perceiving the principles of organize crime are what actually operates real human societies. Governments were the biggest form of organized crime, that were controlled by the best organized gang of criminals: i.e., "... gigantic predator corporations and big banks, working together with national governments ..."

We "should" continue consistently from the analysis of the problem to the synthesis of the solutions. The ruling classes are who they are because they were the best at applying the principles and methods of organized crime to make and maintain civilization to be the social pyramid system that it is today. Any genuine solutions ought to be consistent with facing those social facts, and apply unitary mechanisms in those respects, while not continuing to collapse back to false fundamental dichotomies, and the related impossible ideals, when proposing the solutions to those problems. The only genuinely better solutions requires that more people understand and apply the principles and methods of organized crime, using greater information, and higher consciousness when doing so.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 02:22 | 4358076 X_mloclaM
X_mloclaM's picture


"One of the most baffling phenomena of fascism is the almost incredible collaboration between men of the extreme Right and the extreme Left in its creation. The explanation lies at this point. Both Right and Left joined in this urge for regulation. The motives, the arguments, and the forms of expression were different but all drove in the same direction. And this was that the economic system must be controlled in its essential functions and this control must be exercised by the producing groups."

Flynn writes that the right and the left disagreed on precisely who fits the bill as the producer group. The left tends to celebrate laborers as producers. The right tends to favor business owners as producers. The political compromise – and it still goes on today – was to cartelize both. Government under fascism becomes the cartelization device for both workers and the private owners of capital. Competition between workers and between businesses is regarded as wasteful and pointless; the political elites decide that the members of these groups need to get together and cooperate under government supervision to build a mighty nation. The fascists have always been obsessed with the idea of national greatness. To them, this does not consist in a nation of people who are growing more prosperous, living ever better and longer lives. No, national greatness occurs when the State embarks on building huge monuments, undertaking nationwide transportation systems, carving Mount Rushmore, or digging the Panama Canal. In other words, national greatness is not the same thing as your greatness or your family’s greatness or your company’s or profession’s greatness. On the contrary. You have to be taxed, your money’s value has to be depreciated, your privacy invaded, and your well being diminished in order to achieve it. In this view, the government has to make us great.  More:

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 02:25 | 4358077 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture





Thu, 01/23/2014 - 17:39 | 4360299 SDShack
SDShack's picture

The most important question to ask and answer is HOW did the big banks, and the corporations that grew up around those banks that could make the public "money" supply out of nothing, as debts, GET TO BE "Working together with national governments ???"

Not "How", but "Why"... see the definition of a sociopath. It's done because it is in the very nature of TPTB to do it. It's in their DNA. The only way to stop it is for the masses to develop the rule of law for the masses, and apply it uniformly to every one. No separate laws for the elite, and laws for everyone else. We no longer live in a constitutional democratic republic. We live in a fascist, neo-feudal, crony capitalist oligarchy.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 03:22 | 4358124 kurt
kurt's picture

When I see or hear "elite" I always think "pigshit" and or "pigfuckers"

To apply the word "elite" you are ascribing better-ness to people who are not.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 03:34 | 4358136 kurt
kurt's picture

All smoke and mirrors folks. This is meat tossed into the den. The real story that squeaked out and is now being buried: TRILLIONS in taxable income is hidden every year.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 04:07 | 4358155 Ulterior
Ulterior's picture

Current system caps individual at his abilities. You are dependant on moods of people paying you money.

Better approach to capitalism would be a definition of some kind of equal starting capital - lets say.. a million - you put it in your bussiness and if you fail - you go to work for the person who succeeded or had inherited success.

This way we would all be equal in capitalism

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 06:13 | 4358214 no more banksters
Thu, 01/23/2014 - 06:23 | 4358217 Dr. Bonzo
Dr. Bonzo's picture

These wealth distribution charts are always a joke. According to this if you have 100K+ in assets you're in the top 7.5% of asset holders, but I can assure you 100K in assets in 2014 feels about as rich as some shmo with a few hundred bucks. You might as well cram all of us into the bottom of that thing because that's just about as far as 100 grand goes these days.


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 08:51 | 4358335 Kuanyeah
Kuanyeah's picture

By the time we are awaken, they have all transferred and transported to Elysium

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 09:20 | 4358397 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

In 'american' societies, rich people get rich and richer by serving well the King class aka WeThePeople aka the 'american' middle class.

So the best servants to the 'american' middle class have grown richer than half the population of the world, the poorest part?

And what?

It only demonstrates that they served well the 'american' middle class. Nothing wrong with that.

Was 'american' ever intended to work for everyone? So what, 'americans' run a business of extorting the weak, and farming the poor and their farm is constituted by half the world population?

What is the point in this article. Self high five for 'americanism' as it shows how efficient 'americanism' is?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:52 | 4359203 DueDiligence
DueDiligence's picture

This arcticle in a way argues in favor of democracy and free markets, if you compare the US to these numbers, our wealth inequality is not even close to this disparate.  Top 1% have 38% of the wealth(my own DD), not "65 times more than the bottom half".    We need to keep fighting for our freedom and free markets, and push our gubermint to enforce anti-trust laws and break up many of these corporations which crush competition.  Until people organize with a very specific message of "don't tread on me" and break up these oligarchy corps(not like the the silly 'occupy wall street' dysfunction), and boot the pre-paid politicians, we will continue to see our freedom dwindle. 

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 18:01 | 4360373 butchtrucks
butchtrucks's picture

The trickle down theory in action.   Only it ain't money trickling down...

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 11:50 | 4366548 PT
PT's picture

The more accurate phrase is the "Trickle ON Theory"

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 13:17 | 4366732 MagicMoney
MagicMoney's picture

A lot of the wealth is simply a creation of credit these days from central banks. Rising asset prices are supported by credit creation. In the whole scheme of things income inequality is a scam. Governments help create income inequality, even declines the living standards of people in general. Lyndon Johnson talked about income inequality as being a crisis that needed to be dealt. In 1970s, a american family could support the household with the one parent working. Lyndon  Johnson's guns & butter administration of Great Society programs has not translated to better liviing standards, or reduction of income inequality, because in the 1980's you had situations where two parents needed to work to support the household. Nixon removed the Gold Standard in 72, because US government couldn't honestly pay for it's largess. It needed more money, it needed to counterfeit money to pay for larger governemnt. You see politicians are scam artist.  Lyndon Johnson expanded government so much, that he could not pay for it, he had to print money, create inflation to pay for his progressive ideas, and warmongering. Inflation and taxes are a difference without a difference, they are done to extract purchasing power from the real economy and concentrate it to the government & their friends. Government inevitably gets in the way of the private society. Debts that are funded for government inevitably have to neglect business, and productive activity. Income inequality is a scam, and politicians, which most of the time are scam artist, hence why Barak Obama has picked up on it. Income Inequality has been used by murderous communist dictators, and the like. If you fall for the income inequality scam, which you could argue is more of conspiracy, you are falling into trap that scam artist want you to think. They want you to hate the rich, & praise government action to bring about more income equality, thus impoverishing the economy even more when in fact, it's government that contributes to the problem. Free markets if left to it's own devices simply rewards people with more productive abilities, government doesn't reward nobody based on ability, it rewards people based on cronyism, extortion, and racketeering. Politicians don't really care about people's living standards, if so, they are wholely ignorant, but my guess is they do know what they are doing is wrong. They don't care, because at the end of the day they only care about your votes, & hope you are dumb enough to vote for them & fall for their promises of a better life.

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