Rebel Against the Real Enemy – Income Inequality

We have witnessed the engineering of a great divide in America, thirty years in the making. No time in the history of America, including the civil war era, has this country been so polarized and divided. This last presidential campaign brought to the surface all of the vitriol, hatred, racism, xenophobia, and paranoia. The election has not quelled the tensions, and in fact, may have accelerated the tensions.

Now, we are facing the possibility of a recount in several states. Accusations of vote rigging and manipulation run rampant, even in lame stream media. The president elect has not exactly stepped up to call for calm and reconciliation.   The world watches in utter disbelief as these events unfold. This brings us to the point of this article—what is really dividing us.

Once again the average, common, hard working Americans have been duped into blaming each other for their current state of economic stagnation, lack of a decent living wage, and crumbling infrastructure. It’s the poor urban blacks sucking our revenue by not working and living off welfare. It is the Latinos who are pouring across our borders and taking our jobs and dealing drugs. It’s the refugees streaming in who are terrorists in disguise and they are ready to blow up our schools and our malls.

We have a message for all of us who think it is an attack on white America. We all have something in common, that is middle white America, urban Blacks, Latinos, legal and illegal, and refugees, we are all POOR and getting POORER by the day. If we all could realize this fundamental fact, and it is a fact, and we united against the real enemy, corrupt politicians doing the bidding of their criminal bosses on Wall Street, and walked arm-in-arm to Washington TOGETHER, we would watch a whole bunch of elitists changing their underwear and start looking for a way out of Dodge. Consider carefully the following report.

Last week Credit Suisse released its latest annual global wealth report, which traditionally lays out what is perhaps the biggest reason for the recent “anti-establishment” revulsion: an unprecedented concentration of wealth among a handful of people, as shown in its infamous global wealth pyramid, an arrangement which as observed by the “shocking” political backlash of the past few months suggests that the lower ‘levels’ of the pyramid are increasingly unhappy about.

As Credit Suisse tantalizingly shows year after year, the number of people who control just shy of a majority of global net worth, or 45.6% of the roughly $255 trillion in household wealth, is declining progressively relative to the total population of the world, and in 2016 the number of people who are worth more than $1 million was just 33 million, roughly 0.7% of the world’s population of adults. On the other end of the pyramid, some 3.5 billion adults had a net worth of less than $10,000, accounting for just about $6 trillion in household wealth. And in between is the so-called global middle class – those 1 billion people who rising anger at the status quo made Brexit and Trump possible.

Coincidentally, we tracked down the first Credit Suisse report we found in this series from 2010, where the total wealth of the top “layer” in the pyramid was a modest $69.2 trillion for the world’s millionaires. It has nearly doubled in the 6 years since then. Meanwhile, the world’s poorest have gotten, you got it, poorer, as those adults who were worth less than $10,000 in 2010 had a combined net worth of $8.2 trillion, a number which has since declined to $6.1 trillion in 2016 despite a half a billion increase in the sample size. The same goes for the layer right above, also known as the “middle class.”

How about the very top?cs-wealth-2_0-top-of-the-pryamid

Things here are even more nuanced, with 28.9 million people whose net worth is between $1 and $5 million gradually tapering off to just 140,900 Ultra High Net Worth individuals who control more than $50 million in assets each.  Of these, 50,800 are worth at least USD 100 million, and 5,200 have assets above USD 500 million. The total number of UHNW adults is about 3% higher than a year ago (4,100 individuals), and the increase has been relatively uniform across regions, except for the higher than average rise in Asia- Pacific countries (10%)

Wealth differences within and between countries

Wealth differences between individuals occur for many reasons. Variation in average wealth across countries accounts for much of the observed inequality in global wealth, but there is also considerable disparity within countries. Those with low wealth are disproportionately found among the younger age groups, who have had little chance to accumulate assets. Others may have suffered business losses or personal misfortune, or live in regions where prospects for wealth creation are more limited. Opportunities are also sometimes constrained for women or minorities. In contrast, many individuals can be found at the other end of the spectrum who have acquired large fortunes through a combination of talent, hard work and good luck.

The wealth pyramid in the following figure  captures these differences. The large base of low wealth-holders underpins higher tiers occupied by progressively fewer adults. We estimate that 3.5 billion individuals – 73% of all adults in the world – have wealth below USD 10,000 in 2016. A further 900 million adults (19% of the global population) fall in the USD 10,000–100,000 range. While average wealth is modest at the base and in the middle tiers of the pyramid, total wealth there amounts to USD 35 trillion, underlining the economic importance of this often overlooked segment.

The base of the pyramid

The layers of the wealth pyramid are quite distinctive. The base tier has the most even distribution across regions and countries , but also the most uneven range of personal circumstances.

In developed countries, only about 20% of adults fall within this category, and for the majority of these individuals, membership is either transient – due to business losses or unemployment, for example – or a lifecycle phase associated with youth or old age. In contrast, more than 90% of the adult population in India and Africa falls within this range. For many residents of low-income countries, life membership of the base tier is the norm rather than the exception.

Mid-range wealth

In terms of global wealth, USD 10,000 –100,000 is the mid-range band. It covers around 900 million adults who represent a high proportion of the middle class in many countries. The average wealth of this group is quite close to the overall global mean wealth, and its combined net worth of USD 29 trillion provides it with considerable economic clout. India and Africa are under-represented in this segment, whereas China’s share is disproportionately high. China and India provide an interesting contrast. India accounts for just 3.1% of those with mid-range wealth, and that share has changed very little during the past decade. In contrast, China accounts for 33% of those with wealth between USD 10,000 and USD 100,000, ten times the number of Indians, and double the proportion of Chinese in 2000.

The high wealth bands

The top tiers of the wealth pyramid – covering individuals with net worth above USD 100,000 – comprised 5.9% of all adults at the turn of the century. The proportion rose rapidly until the financial crisis, but has remained quite stable since that time. It currently comprises 8.2% of the global total, nearly the same as in mid-2015. Regional composition differs markedly from the strata below. Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region (omitting China and India) together account for 89% of the group, with Europe alone providing 144 million members (36% of the total). This compares with just 5 million adult members (1.2% of the global total) in India and Africa combined.

The pattern of membership changes once again for the US dollar millionaires at the top of the pyramid. The number of millionaires in any given country is determined by three factors: the size of the adult population, average wealth, and wealth inequality. The United States scores high on all three criteria, and has by far the greatest number of millionaires at 13.6 million, or 41% of the worldwide total (Figure  3). For many years, Japan held second place in the millionaire rankings by a comfortable margin – with 13% of the global total in 2011, for example, which was double the number of the third placed country.
However, the number of Japanese millionaires has fallen, alongside a rise in other countries. As a consequence, Japan lost its second place to the United Kingdom in 2014, but bounced back again this year because of exchange rate appreciation.

After a drop this year, the United Kingdom falls to third place with 7% of millionaires worldwide, followed by Germany, France, and China with 5% each, and Italy, Canada, and Australia with 3% each. Switzerland, Korea, Spain, and Taiwan are the four other countries with more than 350,000 millionaires, which is the minimum requirement for a one percent share of the global total.

Changing membership of the millionaire group

Year-on-year variations in the number of millionaires can often be traced to real wealth growth and exchange rate movements. Last year, we reported that widespread depreciation against the US dollar had resulted in a significant reduction in the number of millionaires between mid-2014 and mid-2015. This year, the changes in both directions have been relatively modest: a net increase of 596,000 or 2%. Japan reversed the trend of recent years, adding more than a third to its total (up 738,000 to 2.8 million). Millionaire numbers rose again in the United States, but only by 283,000, which is less than the typical rise in the period since the financial crisis. The downside was experienced by the United Kingdom, which lost around 15% of its millionaires (406,000 adults), and to a lesser extent by Switzerland (down 58,000), and China (down 43,000).

cs-wealth-5_0-change-in-growth-of-millionairesHigh net worth individuals

The usual source of information on wealth data – official household surveys – tends to become less reliable at higher wealth levels. To estimate the pattern of wealth holdings above USD 1 million, we therefore supplement the survey data with figures from “rich lists” such as the Forbes annual tally of global billionaires. These rich list data are pooled for all the years since 2000, and well-known statistical regularities are then used to estimate intermediate numbers in the top tail which are consistent with the Forbes data. This produces plausible estimates of the global pattern of asset holdings in the high net worth (HNW) category from USD 1 million to USD 50 million, and in the ultra-high net worth (UHNW) range from USD 50 million upwards.

While the base of the wealth pyramid is occupied by people from all countries at various stages of their lifecycles, HNW and UHNW individuals are heavily concentrated in particular regions and countries, and tend to share more similar lifestyles, for instance participating in the same global markets for luxury goods, even when they reside in different continents. The wealth portfolios of these individuals are also likely to be more similar, with a focus on financial assets and, in particular, equities, bonds and other securities traded in international markets.

For mid-2016, we estimate that there are 33.0 million HNW adults with wealth between USD 1 million and USD 50 million, of whom the vast majority (28.9 million) fall in the USD 1– 5 million range

There are 2.5 million adults worth between USD 5 million and 10 million, and 1.5 million more have assets in the USD 10– 50 million range. In terms of HNW membership, Europe briefly overtook North America in 2007, but North America regained the lead in 2010, and now accounts for a much greater number, namely 14.7 million (45% of the total), compared to 9.8 million (30%) in Europe. Asia-Pacific countries, excluding China and India, have 6.0 million members (18%), and another 1.6 million are found in China (5% of the global total). The remaining 816,000 HNW individuals (2% of the total) reside in India, Africa or Latin America.

Ultra-high net worth individuals

Our calculations suggest that 140,900 adults worldwide can be classed as UHNW individuals, with net worth above USD 50 million. Of these, 50,800 are worth at least USD 100 million, and 5,200 have assets above USD 500 million. The total number of UHNW adults is about 3% higher than a year ago (4,100 individuals), and the increase has been relatively uniform across regions, except for the higher than average rise in Asia- Pacific countries (10%).

North America dominates the regional rankings, with 73,400 UHNW residents (52%), while Europe has 29,800 (21%), and 18,800 (13%) live in Asia-Pacific countries, excluding China and India. Among individual countries, the United States leads by a huge margin with 70,400 UHNW adults, equivalent to 50% of the group total (Figure 5).  This is a small increase of 500 compared to mid- 2015. China occupies second place with 11,000 UHNW individuals (up 640 on the year), followed by Germany (6,100, up 500). The United Kingdom lost by far the greatest number of UHNW individuals (down 700 to 4,700), but still heads France (4,100, up 600). In contrast, Japan gained the most (3,600, up 1,000), and now occupies sixth place. Italy (3,300, up 400), Canada (2,900, up 100), Korea (2,500, up 200), and India (2,300, up 100) are the other countries with the highest numbers of UHNW individuals. This represents a 100-fold rise of UHNW individuals since the turn of the century. A further 8,500 UHNW adults (6% of the total) can be found in Hong Kong, India, Korea, and Taiwan.

The wealth pyramid captures the contrasting circumstances between those with net wealth of a million US dollars or more in the top echelon, and those lower down in the wealth hierarchy. Discussions of wealth holdings often focus exclusively on the top tail. We provide a more complete and balanced picture, believing that the base and middle sections are interesting in their own right. One reason is the sheer size of numbers and their political power. However, their combined wealth of USD 35 trillion also yields considerable economic opportunities, which are often overlooked. Addressing the needs of these asset owners can drive new trends in both the consumer and financial industries. China, Korea and Indonesia are examples of countries where individuals have been rising rapidly through this part of the wealth pyramid. India has not shown similar progress to date, but has the potential to grow rapidly in the future from its low starting point.

This, my global friends, is the real problem and reason why we are angry. It is so important to start thinking instead of reacting emotionally. This is why we have to look closely at how easily we were manipulated to focus on each other and not have our attention on the criminals who were and are robbing us of our future. We have been blogging about this for years now, but somehow those who need to hear the truth the most are not hearing any of it. It is time to wake them up. How? Well we really don’t have a better understanding of that than when we started, but maybe, just maybe, collectively we can figure that out. Not much time left before it all comes crumbling down.

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Thoughts for the Current Incredible Events

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” –Shakespeare from Hamlet

There are many Americans reeling right now, uncertain of the future. The Ironic part is they occupy both sides of the political divide that both the left and right worked so diligently to create over the last 50 years. Those on the right believed in less government and let the forces of the market place define the future, only to find themselves in economic bondage. Those on left deluding themselves by believing that they were part of a progressive liberal view of what the natural evolution of government and democracy should be and their view would be embraced on a global basis. On a global basis it has not resonated. This last election demonstrated that both of these views were soundly rejected and NOBODY really won the election by a landslide. By that we mean that neither candidate received more than 35% of the POTENTIAL vote and 51% of those who could vote chose not to vote or participate.

As a result, the most unlikely candidate won the presidency to the shock and horror of those who thought they were “in-the-know” on both sides of the divide. Now, everyone wonders what happens next to America, America’s role in the world, and indeed the impact of this election on the current world situation. This fear and wonder extends to global leaders in both the West and the East. What does it mean to the global economy? What is going to happen in relation to on-going global conflicts and those allied and opposed to the current US policies and war efforts?

“The future is operative and speculative. It leads the contemplative to view with reverence and admiration the glorious works of the Creator, and inspires him with the most exalted ideas of the perfections of his divine Creator”. –Anonymous

We would like to suggest that our current reality is a construct of our collective consciousness. We, meaning all of us, have collectively created this reality to finally wake our asses up and let us begin to understand we must ACT to confront the greed, avarice, bigotry and racism in the world. We, each and every one of us must ask ourselves who we really are and how we are, as individuals, going to act and respond to what is going to happen next. Are we going to allow the building of walls, mass deportations, registrations of people based on religion or ethnicity? Are we, as a global community, going to respond to one another out of fear and ignorance? Are we going to allow a future where the education of our children is not a priority? Are we going to ignore and fail to act in relation to the dramatic changes in our climate? Are we really going to do that by just sitting back and lamenting as to how things have turned out? Are we still going to feel helpless and fail to act?

Here is a few suggestions that may help us work through the next few months. Each of us should ask ourselves a few questions about who we really are.

Have you accepted that whatever seems to be is not, and that that which seems not to be, is?

Have you learned that facts are fallacies, and physical existence a delusion?

Do you accept that material bliss is impossible?

Are you willing to relinquish your former associations, to cease to concern yourself in the affairs of men?

If you seriously contemplate these questions, we believe the following thoughts will emerge.

You will soon behold the true origin of your vision, the hope of humanity. It is universal and crosses all boundaries of ideologies.

The cares of life will fade; misery, distress, hatred, envy, jealousy, and unholy passions, will consequently be blotted from your existence and that will collectively lead to the necessary disobedience and non-compliance of the status quo.

Men must seriously consider those truths which, under inflexible natural laws, govern the destiny of man.

It is love that enslaves mankind; love that commands; love that ensnares and rules mankind.

Love is the seed, and sorrow is the harvest, but this harvest of sadness is to man the richest gift of love, the golden link that joins the spirit form that has fled to the spirit that is still enthralled on earth.

He who heeds best his sorrow-teacher is in closest touch with humanity,

Once we realize these truths, we will throw down our weapons and set aside our hate and fears. We will refuse to destroy our towns and villages, and countries for material gain of a few elites, and we will finally see the dignity that ALL humans possess. We will at last have awakened to the truth of our collective divine destiny.

What Has Been Stolen is not Wealth: It is Our Joy of Living

The world we face today is one of anguish, suffering, and a whole lot of sadness. We all feel things are not right, but we cannot quite express what is happening. We know the world of economic hope is missing on a global basis. We know that politics and economies are rigged against us, but we have no idea what to do about it. In fact, we are resigned to a degree as to the current state of affairs.

However, if we really can understand what we could do “about it”, we most certainly would do so collectively.  We contend that what has really been systematically stolen from us is JOY!

Joy, defined as, a feeling or state of well-being and contentment <the inexpressible joy that the couple are feeling upon the birth of their first child> Synonyms beatitude, blessedness, bliss, blissfulness, felicity, gladness, happiness, warm fuzzies

Related Words elatedness, elation, exhilaration, exultation, high, intoxication; ecstasy, euphoria, glory, heaven, nirvana, paradise, rapture, rapturousness, ravishment, seventh heaven, transport; delectation, delight, enjoyment, pleasure; cheer, cheerfulness, comfort, exuberance, gaiety, gladsomeness, glee, gleefulness, jocundity, jollity, joyfulness, joyousness, jubilance, jubilation, lightheartedness, merriness, mirth; content, contentedness, gratification, satisfaction, triumph

Look up any of these related words. In fact, look them all up. We need to re-enforce what it is that we need to understand; what that “thing” is that has been stolen from our lives, from our consciousness. When we look at how we currently feel the Near Antonyms agony, anguish, desolation, joylessness, sorrow, sufferance, woe, woefulness; blues, cheerlessness, dejection, depression, desolateness, despondency, disheartenment, dispiritedness, doldrums, downheartedness, gloom, gloominess, melancholy, mournfulness, plaintiveness; Gehenna, hell, purgatory of joy go a long way in expressing how we, on a global basis, are feeling.

Ask yourself a quiet reflective question. When was the last time you really experienced joy?  Sad huh? It is time we again found joy in our lives. Then ponder why it is that joy is so elusive being that it is after all just a state of mind. If we approach this in a scientific manner, then consider a study of true science is a study of God. Angels are organizations natural in accordance with God’s laws. They appear superhuman, because of our ignorance concerning the higher natural forces. They exist in exact accordance with the laws that govern the universe; but as yet the attraction between clay and clay-bound spirit is so great as to prevent the enthralled soul of man from communicating with them. The faith of the religionist is an example of the unquenchable feeling that creates a belief as well as a hope that there is a self-existence separate from earthy substances. The scoffing scientific agnostic, working for other objects, will yet astonish himself by elaborating a method that will practically demonstrate these facts, and then empirical religion, as exemplified by the unquestioning faithful believer, and systematic science, as typified in the experimental materialist, will meet on common ground.

The next several weeks and months will be fraught with much anxiety and bring great revelations that will astonish us all. Information that will makes us angry and create within us a state of disbelief. Every thing we thought we knew will be undone. It has already started. As these incredible events unfold, remember it is simply a sudden and dramatic expansion of our understanding of how the universe is really organized. Therefore, accept this knowledge with joy, knowing it is now time to understand truths that are universal and timeless. It is now time to open our eyes and for all of us a time to truly wake up!