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Occupy Oakland General Strike on October 2, 2011. (photo/cc/Brian Sims)

Occupy Oakland General Strike on October 2, 2011. (photo/cc/Brian Sims)

'We are the 99%': But Richest 1% Will Soon Own Two-Thirds Of World's Wealth

Anger over inequality reaches a ‘tipping point’

Common Dreams staff

More than two-thirds of the world's entire wealth will be owned by the richest 1% of people by 2030, new research warns.

The shocking findings of the new report produced by the UK's House of Commons Library claims that if trends which began after the 2008 financial crisis continue, the 1% will control 64% of world's money in just 12 years' time.

The widening gap between the 1% and everyone else was first highlighted by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which started in 2011 and famously used the slogan: "We are the 99%."

The study claims that the wealth of the richest one percent grows at six percent annually, outstripping the three percent annual growth of everyone else, causing a continual movement of money to the top.

Polling that accompanies the study indicated that the majority of people are unhappy about wealth inequality. Thirty-four percent said that the super-rich would have the most power in 2030, more even than governments (28 percent). 

More than four in ten of those polled also said they worried that rising income inequality would lead to corruption or the "super-rich enjoying unfair influence on government policy".

Since 2008, the assets of the top 1% have been growing at twice the rate of the other 99%.

If that rate carries on, the 1% will own about $305 trillion by 2030, up from $139 trillion today.

The Guardian reports:

The research was commissioned by Liam Byrne, the former Labour cabinet minister, as part of a gathering of MPs, academics, business leaders, trade unions and civil society leaders focused on addressing the problem...

The hope is to create pressure for global action when leaders of the G20 group of nations gather for a summit in Buenos Aires in November. Byrne, who organised the first OECD global parliamentary conference on inclusive growth, said he believed global inequality was “now at a tipping point”.

“If we don’t take steps to rewrite the rules of how our economies work, then we condemn ourselves to a future that remains unequal for good,” he said. “That’s morally bad, and economically disastrous, risking a new explosion in instability, corruption and poverty.”


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