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Amid Warnings of Surging Worldwide Poverty, Planet's 500 Richest People Added $1.8 Trillion to Combined Wealth in 2020

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/01/02/amid-warnings-surging-worldwide-poverty-planets-500-richest-people-added-18-trillion


(From the article referring to musk.)

“the fastest creation of personal wealth in history, according to Bloomberg.”

Does he get a prize??


I think we need to start a movement to boycott these bastards services and products. That’s the only way we’re going to stop this insanity, because they will continue to use a portion of their vast wealth to buy off our politicians to give them tax loopholes, corporate welfare for them, etc. to make sure they stay at the top of the heap


It should be pointed out that nearly all these billionaires will be supporting either the corporate Democrats or the corporate Republicans. Bernie Sanders can slam the billionaires all he wants but that will not disguise the fact that many of them prop up the Democrats in order to protect their vested interests especially now that Joe Biden will be taken over the reigns of power in a few weeks.


Boycott, yes, absolutely. Do not feed the monster.

But no that is not “the only way,” and in fact, unless we organize to vastly reduce their wealth, they will always keep playing us against ourselves, and keep the game going as long as they possibly can.

They will not voluntarily give up their social position of preposterous wealth. We will have to take it away from them. To do so, we have to know that this is what we have to do, and we have to organize ourselves to do it.

Boycott, yes, absoultely. And support taxation structures to reduce their wealth, and other systemic structures and processes to reduce this gross distortion and rebalance the wealth of humanity.

But also, tell them that “their” wealth is not only illegitimate, and incredibly rude, and horrifically violent – it is also omnicidal.

We need to let them know that we will defend the Earth, and our lives and families and communities, by organizing to remove them from “their” grossly imbalanced wealth.


Joe Biden who famously and pointedly told the billionaire class that “Nothing will fundamentally change” about their wealth and prerogatives under his administration.


There should be no billionaires! I have nothing else to add, but my disgust!


we have come to regard the planet as property, to be bought and sold to divert the ‘wealth’ of it into few and fewer hands.

A few thoughtful individuals stop and realise that this is our ultimate problem, but the vast majority are convinced that it is the only means by which we can exist now, and run their lives accordingly. So we parcel up swathes of land and sell it, or tear it apart to dig out what’s below the surface, believing the myth of infinity.

Far from giving us universal freedom, this has locked humankind into a commercial prison that incarcerates all of us with work and wages. The Bushmen of the Kalahari or some as yet uncontacted tribe in Amazonia might be an exception to this, but no one else is. (they are the true ecosocialists and conservators of the planet).

We should examine what those changes would mean, long term:

The (real) ecosocialists I have mentioned above take only what they need from the earth, and ultimately return to the earth what they take. (including themselves)
Are we prepared for that?

They practice true earth stewardship, while the rest of us remain convinced that prosperity is something that can be voted for, and despite our oil supplies fading to nothing, we can continue with BAU with no more than a few minor inconveniences.

We might agree that another world should be possible beyond the comforts we take for granted, provided I’m not called upon to surrender MY comforts. Which includes my heating system that protects me against a northern winter, and a car that means I dont have to walk or run to catch my food.

Those two seemingly simple “commodities” are a critical part of the work and wages system in which we find ourselves.
Dream of removing them if you wish, but be under no illusions as to the consequences of our situation when they are gone.

I do not dream of BAU forever, but neither do I harbour delusions about some benign form of government that will reorganise our lives for the common good, (check history for that one).

We are too many, demanding too much from too little, having invented gods to prove our immortality .

Fighting over what’s available is inevitable. Wars we see now are wars over resources, not ideologies. These wars will intensify as stuff we need for survival gets shared our in lessening amounts, divided up between the 80 million new mouths arriving each year, demanding food, water and shelter.

These conflicts will rebalance our existence, and reduce our numbers to a level the world can support, rather than the numbers that we say it must.

It is an argument we are bound to lose.

Norman Pagett on Medium


An article in today’s Seattle Times, via the Washington Post, informs the reader that:

“Such a rapid accumulation of individual wealth hasn’t happened in the United States since the time of the Rockefellers and Carnegies a century ago, and we as a society are only just beginning to grapple with the ethical implications.” It goes on to inquire: “What does it mean, for instance, that two men [i.e. Musk and Bezos] amassed enough wealth last year to end all hunger in America [with a price tag of $25 billion, according to one estimate] eight times over? Or that the $200 billion accumulated by Bezos and Musk is greater than the amount of coronavirus relief allocated to state and local governments in the Cares Act?” The article also observes that: “The runaway accumulation of riches at a time of widespread deprivation and hardship is one of the widely recognized drivers of democratic decline. Most political scientists believe that the erosion has already started.”

The existence of billionaires in a democratic society, as the article states, goes a long way in reinforcing how less than equal the allegedly greatest country in the world actually is. None of these billionaires is in the running for the Humanitarian of the Year Award and which is a prime reason why they should be using at least half of their wealth to help the working class and the poor of this allegedly exceptional nation.


Perhaps the system coming to the threshold is necessary for Jump Time.As everything begins to look real grim just maybe we are closer to changing life on this planet in ways that work for the highest good of all .

An evolutionary leap in conciousness and thinking just as we are at the precipice. Is this the way for evolution to fast track itself.
It probably doesn’t have to be like this but millions are awakening to what is really going on.

Capitalism’s end game can only be monopoly.


Wealth isn’t the only thing surging amongst the well-to-do, so is hypocrisy.


That has been the political way for as long as I can recall. Buy, sell, and lie.
Ms. Baldwin, senator from my state, came in as a peoples candidate, not a corporatist. She does what we all seem to want. Work across party lines to get favorable legislation for our state. Introduces many bills on her own, then builds support.
But then came the military budgets, and all of a sudden she is in the millionaire class. And we thought Soros was the only one.
It seems a little unfair though to berate the rich for getting richer, as they are doing little or nothing but watching the dollars get tacked on.
Is there anyone that might try to fix the wealth gap. Anyone, anyone?


I it is a poor reflection of the state of engineering in the US that Elon Musk is an idol to many engineers. The top 2 desired workplaces, for engineering students are Musk’s Tesla and Space X. Apple, Amazon, and Google, and the war profiteers, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing also figure in the top 10: _https://electrek.co/2020/11/11/tesla-most-attractive-company-engineering-students-massive-advantage/


And that is why from time to time democrats attempt to put in place regulations. The things the money mongers hate. Operational rules that hamper the lust for loot.


so basically the next phase of the westphalian nation-state is going to be privately owned countries. nice. well done, capitalism.


Hypocrisy. My main complaint about politicians. Especially the GOP flavor.
Well said Pony.
I often think of music when I read your posts Pony.
I will drift off for a moment and enjoy Dylan’s “Political World.”

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Too honest or honesty is the best medicine?
may I only ad that all 30,000 natural human cultures before they were genocided by civilized people also lived as you say…


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Capitalism has features to provide these benefits to deserving gentleman and sometimes a woman. Capitalism has no flaws.
Greed and prosperity are the human traits enable your body to
asend up into the sky at death so you can play fetch your dead fuckin’ dog. Ok yes and there are teenage girls for very special people such as donald trump, bezos, and that fuckstik tesla jerk.


“None of these billionaires is in the running for the Humanitarian of the Year Award and which is a prime reason why they should be using at least half of their wealth to help the working class and the poor of this allegedly exceptional nation.”
Yes they ‘should’ be but never will.Having a fair tax system would take their ideology out of the picture.


Voting and revolution are the only ways to close the wealth gap.
Nobody is willing to sacrifice for a revolution so that leaves us only legislation.
Seems to me that it is going in the other direction. No wonder the poor keep getting shit on with voter suppression.
Harder to vote, harder to change things.
We need welcome wagons at polling places.
Port-a-potties, free water bottles given on request, in line place savers, and chairs or wheelchairs for the weary. Maybe even a food wagon.