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85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world

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  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    This proves more than ever before that it takes money to make money.

    In-spite of what some people will claim after reading this article, capitalism is still the best system in the world for allowing people to pull themselves out of poverty and move up the economic latter. It provides incentive. Socialism and communism do not.

    People who accomplish a lot should be admired, not envied. There are many people in the world who have the opportunities to accomplish a lot more economically but choose not to, usually due to lack of ambition.
    Unfortunately, there are far too many people who currently live under oppressive governments that don't allow those same opportunities.

    There's a reason so many people are still literally risking their lives to try to get to the USA and enjoy our freedoms and economic opportunities that comparatively few other countries in the world offer. We in America are very fortunate indeed.

  • Chris A Salt Lake , UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    Well said Tators! Spot on.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    And just as those poor people are not making the rich people rich, the rich people are not making the poor people poor.

    I have the same opportunities whether Mitt Romney makes 1 million, 10 million, or 100 million this year.

    He created value and deserves what he has.

    Its a sign of laziness when people think they deserve what others have earned.

    And if you are worth more than what your current company is paying, there obviously will be another company who will pay you more if you will increase the value of their company.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    @Tators
    "In-spite of what some people will claim after reading this article, capitalism is still the best system in the world for allowing people to pull themselves out of poverty and move up the economic latter. "

    Try explaining that to the 3.5 billion people whose combined wealth add up to that of the 85 richest. Unfettered capitalism is what leads to exploitation of cheap labor. I'm not saying that communism is correct (I don't believe it is), I'm just saying that capitalism still needs some controls if you really want to lift people up. That's why we have workplace safety standards, the 40 hour workweek, the minimum wage...

  • itsjustme Vernal, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    Capitalism works every time it is tried. Because there are so many Countries that are ruled by a dictator, capitalism does not have a chance to work. And unfortunately, the USA supports many of these Countries with foreign aid that only goes to enrich the dictator, while the rest of that countries population starves.

    Support capitalism, and watch the entire population of the world flourish.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    Schnee.....Try explaining that to the 3.5 billion people whose combined wealth add up to that of the 85 Richest?

    TWO WORDS: COMMUNIST CHINA! You cannot be rich if your government steals all your hard work......something you and Obama will never understand! That is why we have 37% of America not working, because of Obama and his communist policies!

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    Right on Tators!

    @Schnee: "I'm just saying that capitalism still needs some controls if you really want to lift people up". Problem is when you give people free stuff that they didn't work for they become lazy and dependent. Capitalism is not perfect but it's the best we've got. With all the money spent in fighting poverty, especially under this Community Organizer, it gets much worse.

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    Jan. 24, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    I sure hope that Tators and Christopher B don't really believe that the US is operating under real capitalism. The oil industry, mining and industrial farms have been subsidized for decades. Educated workers are provided to "capitalists" for free by a socialist education system. Goods are transported on roads built by a socialist system. Business is subsidized at every turn in the US. Mining companies pay next to nothing to extract wealth from public lands.

    The rich have purchased congressmen (and women) in a market that the rest of us can't participate in.

    Capitalist talking heads fight a decent minimum wage and yet revel in obscene pay for a limited few. Jamie Dimon gets a raise to $20M and Rush Limbaugh rakes in $28M a year and we won't pay $15/hour as a basic wage.

  • averageguy WASHINGTON, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    This article is about net worth, not income. They are different. Net worth is seldom cash sitting idly in a vault. It's deployed capital. It's not yachts and private jets, it's business asset ownership. This working capital employs and serves us all. Secondly, there is no mention of how the wealth is used. Much of that (evil) wealth may be used for charity or humanitarian service. Articles like this are technically true but intentionally misleading, and have the main purpose of incitement towards a specific political agenda.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    Jan. 24, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    That's about as significant as saying that all the stars in the universe have a million times more mass (or whatever) than all the planets combined, or that the redwood forest has more mass than similar sized white pine forests.

    So what?

    That statistic doesn't really mean anything. In developed and less corrupt nations at least, the rich do not take money from the poor. I wish that idea would sink in.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    The article I am reading says:
    "The 85 richest people in the world own more wealth than the 300 billion poorest people combined"
    How many planets' populations are they counting to get to 300 billion people?
    Have other advanced alien races not discovered some economic and political system that keeps their billions of people from being so poor?

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    @ Christopher B,

    Actually, if Mitt makes $100M, your opportunities might indeed increase.
    Guys like that didn't get rich by squirreling away their coin in a bank vault like Scrooge McDuck. They put it to work by putting other people to work.

    And with a small portion of it they spend it on a lifestyle that is putting a bunch more people to work and putting food on their table.

    And with a substantial portion of it, guys like Mitt R and Warren B and Bill G lift a lot of people who need a lift.

    Money is just a tool that works best in the hands of someone who knows how to use it to build things the rest of us need. Take it away and give it to someone who doesn't know what to do with it, and we all become poorer.

  • cowshed Provo, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 5:10 p.m.

    "The 85 richest people in the world own more wealth than the 300 billion poorest people combined". Interesting article, but maybe we need to check the math. I believe the world's total population is about 7 billion, which would not allow for 300 billion poorest people. Of course, the point of the article would be the same if there were only 3.5 billion people in the world's poorest half.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 5:36 p.m.

    @t702
    "Problem is when you give people free stuff that they didn't work for they become lazy and dependent. "

    But I'm not talking about free stuff. I mean more basic things we take for granted like how people in other nations are getting paid pennies an hour working in some sweatshop. There's a difference between lazy and exploited.

    @TRUTH
    "You cannot be rich if your government steals all your hard work"

    Nobody is saying to do that (and besides, I'd be modeling a nation like Sweden that has less income inequality than the US, not China which has more income inequality than the US).

    "That is why we have 37% of America not working"

    You're either including stay at home parents or 80+ year olds in that number... maybe both. I'm sure you think families ideally should have one parent staying at home raising the kids, and I'm sure you want to retire before 80 so why count all them?

    @Thinkin' Man
    "In developed and less corrupt nations at least, the rich do not take money from the poor. "

    They take the labor of their employees and control how much the workers gets of the profits.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 5:48 p.m.

    Even if those 85 did not have that money the poor would still be poor.

    The poor aren't poor because someone else is rich.

    The left makes a grave mistake thinking in such simple terms.

  • SAS Sandy, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 6:17 p.m.

    Clearly, each of those 85 richest people must do as much work and create more value than 10 million of the world's poor. Right?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:24 p.m.

    The fact that anyone can defend the udder greed is astounding.
    Greed is a horrible, horrible human trait. Anyone who believes that it's ok for 85 people to own more money than 3.5 Billion people is beyond reason.

  • Vincent Vega Orem, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:45 p.m.

    I'm sure Jesus would be so pleased.

  • Scott1 Quiet Neighborhood, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    I have enjoyed many of the seemingly intelligent comments on this blog. Could any of you recommend some good books or other sources that would back up your viewpoints or help satisfy my desire to better understand how economies work?

  • Ex-Pat of Zion Lititz, PA
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    The vast majority in the "enclave" seem to feel unfettered capitalism is grand. Seems like several scripture in the BoM would say otherwise: 4Ne1:3 comes to mind. And the outcome of a "united order" society? See verse 4 (continual peace). And how did it end? People beginning to separate into classes based on their "ability" to obtain riches. More to the point: What they did with that ability.

    We seem to complain about the poor who do not wear the garment of the laborer, but the rich (I dare say all of the 85 in this piece) do not earn their daily bread by the sweat of their brow. Food, shelter and clothing are basic human needs. We collectively determine whether these "needs" are rights or privileges. If a privilege, then we expect the user to abide by certain rules. If a right, we grant it to the user unconditionally. Delegation of the task of enforcing the rights we grant is done by the government through taxation. Leaving it to philanthropic urges has, at least if the 85/3.5B is valid is that the rich seem incapable, in the aggregate, of doing it on their own. Welcome to the last days

  • Granny Saint George, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:52 p.m.

    @Ernest

    Greed? You cannot assume that all the wealthy are necessarily greedy. Some inherited their fortune and have enhanced it, some earned their money through hard work and risk-taking. Sadly, some are probably quite greedy. BUT MANY donate in staggering amounts.

    Jon Huntsman, Sr. and other very wealthy people (at Huntsman's urging) have pledged to give MOST of their fortunes away?! He has given bazillions to fight cancer and amazing amounts to further higher education. Bill Gates and others have given vast amounts to wipe out global diseases and support many other causes. So have the Marriotts, so has Warren Buffett. All of these fortunes are not OLD money, they were earned within the last 50+ or so years.

    We have given tens of thousands of dollars ANONYMOUSLY to help families facing a variety of tragic circumstances. None of this was tax-deductible. And then there are the donations we make to church and community causes. We are self-made, we share, and we are not greedy!!

    Honest procurement of wealth and prudent investing isn't greed. IT'S INTELLIGENCE!

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:20 a.m.

    I guess the trickle down theory only works for you if you stand on your head.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    @thinkingman, the rich do take the money from the poor, where do you think the money comes from. It is like the giant trees in the forest absorb all the energy from the sun light and filter it from giving birth and growth for smaller new trees. Also, we don't have capitalism in this country; we have corrupted mixed government/capitalist economic system that will fade away with time as the earth's society becomes more global, the same as happened with the feudal economic system . It will be probably be replaced with communism, or a one world government. It is just a matter of time and justice.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    Wealth of today is ridiculous. It's only made possible by the invention of fiat currency and manipulation of other people's work.

    Let's say Jesus was teaching in an apple orchard and one man goes and picks all the apples in a 20 mile area. You really think Jesus would say, " Good job, you're a hard worker! Keep all those apples for yourself!" ??

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    Socialism and Communism have not resulted in income equality; there was still a privileged class in the USSR. It was in that respect the same as in other societies where an elite largely control the wealth.

    "But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin". (Doctrine and Covenants 49:20)

    The USA is part of the world.

  • LarryB Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    D&C 49:20 "It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin."

    The world will continue to lie in sin until it embraces the gospel of Jesus Christ and the law of consecration.

    D&C 104:16 "But it must needs be done in mine own away; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low."

    Until then, I'll be the first to say that the labor of a doctor who spent years in medical school training and many thousands of dollars in tuition is worth more than that of a fast food worker. Education is the key to eliminating poverty, not paying more for (i.e. subsidizing) low value work.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass: "Anyone who believes that it's ok for 85 people to own more money than 3.5 Billion people is beyond reason."

    I don't know what the actual number is...(maybe 50 million, 200 million, or even 500 million), but there are a large number of people in this world who have a ZERO or less net worth. They own nothing or they owe more than they own. That means if you have $10 in your pocket, you might be richer than 50 million of the poorest people combined. Anyone in America that has a net worth of just a couple hundred thousand dollars (hardly rich by our standards) is probably richer than about a billion of the world's poorest.

    Is it "beyond reason", that you are so wealthy? What must be done about that? What if all those people richer than you were gone and you were the world's richest guy with a net worth of just a quarter million dollars? Would you still advocate the same "redistribution" policies that you want to impose on the world now?

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    freedomingood: "Let's say Jesus was teaching in an apple orchard and one man goes and picks all the apples in a 20 mile area. You really think Jesus would say, " Good job, you're a hard worker! Keep all those apples for yourself!" ??"

    Would that be the same guy who actually planted the apple trees so that there were apples to be harvested instead of a 20 mile area of weeds and other non-edible plants?

    Would that be the same guy who probably employed a few thousand people to pick his apples (no one could pick 20 miles of apples by themselves)?

    Would that be the same guy who probably traded most of his apples for other stuff (man cannot live by apples alone) thus creating more trade and industry by those who make the other stuff?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    No, it's greed. Do not denigrate intelligence by claiming greed is intelligence. Again, you people are beyond reason.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    @Schnee:

    I agree with you on this issue!

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    @Ex-Pat

    Who is to say the trouble makers in 4 Nephi were the rich? Throughout the Book of Mormon the aggressors were the more idle people.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass

    "The fact that anyone can defend the udder greed is astounding.
    Greed is a horrible, horrible human trait. Anyone who believes that it's ok for 85 people to own more money than 3.5 Billion people is beyond reason."

    I think you are confusing greed with covetousness.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    @freedomingood

    I think he would ask what everyone was doing while that man worked so hard.

  • SmittySmith 33919, FL
    Jan. 25, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    It doesn't surprise me. They have and always will act like it's tough for the rich and they are always crying Poor Mouth. Never Enough! We all knew the game was rigged and now everyone knows it. Just sit back and watch them explain it and defend it! What a joke.....very sad

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    @LarryB

    Regardless of how long doctors remain in school they are only valuable in their ability to heal people who are sick. I conclude that my home teacher is more valuable if my faith and his administration makes me whole. Doctors often leave you worse off than you were before - and broke. They seem to do all right financially, don't worry.

    You are right in quoting that scripture that states that the rich need to be humbled before they can help the poor. BTW the Law of Consecration is in effect right now for those who will live it. There's nothing to stop anyone from giving all their surplus to help their fellow man. Better to be humble willingly than to wait until commanded.

  • Ex-Pat of Zion Lititz, PA
    Jan. 25, 2014 6:52 p.m.

    @ Rational

    Who is to say that a central Nephite government didn't "redistribute" from a "Bishop's Storehouse"? Was not the same thing done at the founding of the church in the last dispensation? Seems to be pretty consistent with the Lord's plan if you ask me. The article speaks of grotesquely disparate inequality.

    Regardless of how the equality was achieved at this point of Nephite history is not given, so everything we say about the mechanisms is pointless conjecture. If you accept the historicity of the BoM, or more importantly, its message concerning the will of God concerning His people, then you can't deny that the most stable and productive society was one where "all was had in common among them".

    I interpret that the same way I interpret the United Order, where each was given according to their needs. A societal dynamic "equilibrium" of sorts. Individuals will face different challenges from time to time. Would you not come to the aid of your brother in his time of need?

  • jdecp New York, NY
    Jan. 25, 2014 7:20 p.m.

    Page 9 of the cited Oxfam report states: According to Credit Suisse, 10 percent of the global population holds 86 percent of all the assets in the world,while the poorest 70 percent (more than 3 billion adults) hold just 3 percent.

    Please correct the reference to 300 billion. It should be 3 billion.

  • I Bleed Blue Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 25, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    Gandhi said it best.

    “The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed.”

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    While I rejoice in the reality that hard work, risk-taking, and intelligence deserve higher compensation I am saddened at what amounts to excessive economic hoarding.

    Pay your workers a living wage for their county. Give them benefits and time off. Do you really need to amass so much wealth? Instead of such massive disparity could you (the rich) be okay with some disparity? There is so much wealth in this world that all could live a decent life, but unfortunately there are many in power that delight in extracting excessive value from their workers while paying them a mere fraction of their worth. Am I advocating for all to receive equal pay? No. I am advocating for less income inequality. There is a place in the afterlife for those who are excessively cruel to their workers when it comes to wages paid and hours required.

    As consumers do we bear some responsibility? Yes. When we buy a shirt that says made in India or Nepal, do we realize that the corporations are paying these workers mere pennies a day? We want the Indians to be employed, but we must demand they are paid living wages and not slave wages.

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 1:33 a.m.

    "...Obama and his communist policies!"

    Here is a partial definition of the word "communism" taken from my Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition,1994

    "a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away..."

    Mr. Obama's policies hardly facilitate the withering away of government. The withering away of government and "...Obama and his communist policies!" are a mirage.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    A sub-discussion has emerged, on this thread, about an apple orchard.

    It is appropriate to refer this matter to John Locke who so influenced our Founding Fathers that his words might be considered with special fondness and respect; also as one who sought to base his conclusions on authority of all known scripture he may command respect from those who seek likewise.

    In the Second Treatise Of Government, Chapter Five Locke writes "Of Property".

    He begins with the premise: God gave the World to Men in common.... to the use of the industrious" which conforms perfectly with the scriptures that God gave the world to man to subdue and obtain bread by the sweat of his brow etc.

    He concludes that man has no right to enclose land to his property save that which he can cultivate himself, and of that a right to all the fruit he can consume, not to let it rot on the tree. The approved laws of Israel allowed any man to eat the fruit of an orchard that he could, so long as he carried none away. The poor, by their labor, could glean the harvest of another.

    Not so today.

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    Jan. 26, 2014 10:15 p.m.

    This is an easy fix, just get rid of the lower half that are the poorest. Then the number of poor people are shifted up to the next level who are not as poor and the numbers look better. Sort of like unemployment numbers, just stop counting those who drag down the data and everything starts to look better and better.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 11:24 p.m.

    I am sorry that there are so many poor people in the world, however they will stay there for their entire lives unless they are taught to be self reliant. Help them yes, but don't make them dependent on help. We all have the ability to succeed.

  • Big 'D' San Mateo, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    Why can't anyone understand that the TRILLION dollars we are printing for and borrowing from the Fed every year is only ending up in the stock market, inflating the wealth of the wealthiest? I have no problem with the rich getting richer by honest means, but the joke is that this is being done by the Democrats in the name of helping the poor and stimulating the economy.

    From Q4 2007 thru Q1 2009, the DOW crashed > 14,000 down to < 7,000. What has the Fed's "quantitative easing" done? Gradually eased the DOW back up to 14,000 and beyond to its current level of 16,000. This is a crime against the next generation, and it is being committed by a wicked collaboration between government and the financial industry.