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Friday, September 12, 2014

Luckier Than Most: 67 People Own More Wealth Than the Bottom 3.5 BILLION Earthlings

"The 67 People As Wealthy As The World's Poorest 3.5 Billion" - link to Forbes article

67 people own more wealth than half the planet's population. 

Imagine what the average quality of life would be if that wealth were more equally distributed.

No one needs even ONE billion dollars. But if our system had a cap so that a person had to divest his wealth after hitting that, or even better, restructure the cost of his goods or services and increase the rate he paid his workers, then equality would be more even.

There will come a day when humans are no longer required to work. When that day comes, and it's approaching far faster than most people think - it won't happen in my lifetime, but it might in some of yours - then humans will by necessity have to be taken care of. 

To achieve that goal, there are two probable routes. One is to allow the status quo to remain, and see the rise of an Elysium type world where the UHNWIs ( link to Wikipedia UHNWI article ) own everything and the poor get the scraps of what's left over, having to fight for it in a Hunger Games world, or worse. 

But the other route is more Star Trekesque: A world where people are freed from the drudgery of a 9-5 or even worse, a hot, hazardous job of rote work monotony that takes its toll on the collective human psyche, erasing creativity and dulling the senses. 

Imagine a world where people are free to pursue intellectual goals that benefit humankind. There will always be those who scoff, but just a hundred years ago, the assembly line wasn't created, computer technology didn't exist, and women didn't have the right to vote (and still don't in some places). 

Reality will probably play out somewhere between the two, but what might drive us as a race will be the climate change that we ourselves have set into motion. We may need every human who can to work on solving the problem while our automation builds, farms, and does the menial work now done by...well, in the US...immigrants. 

I'd rather see a world closer to Star Trek than Elysium. But the 67 billionaires I cited earlier will fight that tooth and nail, as will other UHNWIs.

I count myself luckier than most, but I'll still fight for better. For everyone.