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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/25/12

Triptych: Sugaring Over Evil, Looting the World, Opening the Ark

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"The detailed analysis in the report, compiled using data from a range of sources, including the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, suggests that for many developing countries the cumulative value of the capital that has flowed out of their economies since the 1970s would be more than enough to pay off their debts to the rest of the world....

"'The problem here is that the assets of these countries are held by a small number of wealthy individuals while the debts are shouldered by the ordinary people of these countries through their governments,' the report says.

"The sheer size of the cash pile sitting out of reach of tax authorities is so great that it suggests standard measures of inequality radically underestimate the true gap between rich and poor. According to Henry's calculations, [$9.7 trillion] of assets is owned by only 92,000 people, or 0.001% of the world's population -- a tiny class of the mega-rich who have more in common with each other than those at the bottom of the income scale in their own societies. ...

"Assuming [this] mountain of assets earned an average 3% a year for its owners, and governments were able to tax that income at 30%, it would generate a bumper [$187 billion in tax revenue] every year."

And much of that revenue would be going to world's poorest countries, whose wealth has been looted at levels outstripping the worst of colonial times.

Put simply, there is no good reason for the people in "developing nations" to live in the crushing poverty that has long been their lot. There is no good reason for the people in the "developed" nations to see their societies rot away before their eyes. These things are happening because unimaginable amounts of money have been and are being looted by a powerful elite abetted at every turn by banks and politicians -- by specific individuals freely deciding to do evil to their neighbors. Or as the Observer headline puts it in an accompanying story: "Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it just floods offshore."

***
Away By the Water So Blue ...


And now a few ancestral voices to see us out: intonations and incantations from a vanished world ...

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Chris Floyd is an American journalist. His work has appeared in print and online in venues all over the world, including The Nation, Counterpunch, Columbia Journalism Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Il Manifesto, the Moscow Times and many (more...)
 

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