There is a report from Oxfam the other day showing that the top 62 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion others that inhabit this planet LINK2. Predictably the Adam Smith institute comes out with a ridiculous comments LINK3. Inequality on this scale does matter - it matters for democracy and ordinary people are getting fed up watching people earn more in a few hours than they will earn in a year or more in a month that they will earn in a lifetime. The super rich have time and cash to lobby for things that benefit them, they have the ability to "network" like at Davos to ensure they get an increasing share of global income and wealth in the future as well. The other problem is that many of the super wealthy were born rich and have very little experience of how the other 99% live and are incapable of designing policies that will benefit the many.
Just compare these two comments one from Oxfam
"World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth. In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake.”
And this one from the Adam Smith Institute's head of research Ben Southwood also said the data was "misleading"."More meaningful measures show greater equality. Those in the middle and bottom of the world income distribution have all got pay rises of around 40% between 1988-2008. Global inequality of life expectancy and height are narrowing too—showing better nutrition and better healthcare where it matters most.
"What we should care about is the welfare of the poor, not the wealth of the rich," he added. Source BBC LINK4
I am afraid for the reason's I cite above Mr Southwood I am worried about the growing wealth and influence of the rich. Future generations should have much more equal chances in life . With today's massive levels of inequality of income and wealth democracy itself is in serious danger and both the present and future generations deserve a better deal.