It has been a known statistic in the United States that the top 5% of income producers, the wealthiest people in America, own or control 95% of the wealth of the United States. Now there is a report via BBC News that the top 2% of the richest on planet Earth, the wealthiest people in the world, own or control more than half of the planet’s wealth. The source for this shocking statistic comes from a study conducted by the United Nations’ World Institute for Development Economics Research. Another shocking statistic is the poorest 50% does not own 1% of the planet’s wealth.
Now before everyone gets all bolshevik or révolutionaire and wealth redistribution balances the planet’s wealth, we should find out how it was that the top 2% came to control so much wealth. Is there a duplicatable secret to wealth accumulation that can perhaps be taught? The cited report notes that 90% of the planet’s wealth is located in industrial or post-industrial nations of Europe, North America, Australia, and the Pacific Rim nations like Japan, South Korea, and the Chinas.
Europe, North America, Australia, and the Pacific Rim power trio are the nation’s that developed industrial technologies or duplicated industrial technologies and marketed them as necessary conveniences to a global market. The goods and services were bartered for material wealth, mineral wealth, real wealth, and currency exchanges. The upper echelons of currency and material wealth have directed the flow of goods and services toward their holdings. The limited population of wealth controllers have directed the flow of goods and services into new markets or pulled natural resources out of developing nations.
In the United States it has become argumentative to increase the tax or to decrease the tax on the wealthiest businesses or individuals. Again, I will say we should find out how they came to amass such fortunes before it is decided to take all of their wealth and redistribute it to the ‘masses.’ Why? Because the mindset that pulled all of that wealth together in the first place will find a way to pull all of that wealth back together again. Another negative from history is there have been people groups that had radical wealth exchanges back to the ‘masses’ – unfortunately for the masses, they remained serfs and peasants while a new ruling elite became the wealth managers.
Before wealth redistribution becomes ‘chic’ or trendy, it behooves us as intelligent humans to find out how the rich got rich, got richer, and stay rich. Wealth in the hands of the money management ignorant does not stay with them for very long. It is known that most lottery winners do not have their money 5 to 10 years after they win the lottery. Why is that? Education and attitude. Most of Earth’s established wealthy have educated themselves in how to attain and retain income beyond expenses. Most of Earth’s established wealthy are personally driven to compete and succeed with intensity in their niche. Most of the lottery winners are educated in paycheck-to-paycheck subsistence to a company and spending what they have on what they want. That kind of spending is why the United States created the Social Security Act, because too many were not creating any kind of income stream or savings for their senior, non-productive years.
There is another factor that comes into play. Personality. It is not everyone’s personality to be some completely obsessed and ruthless to achieve absolute success at such an extremely high level as to be a top 1% contributor – a hyper, type A personality.
We, the people of Earth, need these hyper type-A driven personalities to build revenue streams, production, and new technologies or industries. Amazon, Facebook, and Google are good examples of driving an idea until fruitful. There are other industries as well. Those who create and drive these industries should be rewarded, but not at the expense of the persons creating the products of those industries or the persons buying those products.
Disrespect for humanity has led to unionization of companies where the leadership barely has any voice in the control of the company and that disrespect for humanity has also led to the nationalization of those companies. Neither scenario is good for Humanity or the drivers of the original ideas.
A fair and even taxation of all citizens is preferable to a sliding scale of caveats and special considerations. Let the wealthy have their wealth. It motivates some to find that new thing that will create a new industry or revitalize an older one in a new and interesting way. It also puts capital in the hands of innovators who find and fund new and interesting ways of generating more capital. But, compensate fairly and appropriately those that produce the goods and services, and even allow for achievers to share in the accumulation of wealth.
Now I do not condone bread and circuses. The Judeo-Christian Bible says if you do not work – add value, produce a good or service, generate a revenue stream – you do not eat. There is no free lunch, no government cheese or largesse. If you can work or produce you should work or produce. If you do not because you cannot, those who have should help through non-profit and faith-based initiatives – not a government hand-out. If you do not because you choose not to work or produce then you should reap every benefit your productivity affords you … basically, nothing.
My own research into the top income and revenue producers has shown that it is the combination of education, attitude, individual effort, and hyper-tenacity that produces results in the top 1% of whatever endeavor it is that the hyper-type-A personality chooses to do.
Just do it.
link: UN University WIDE