06 December, 2006

Wealth and power

According to a report from the World Institute for Development Economics Research (Helsinki), the wealthiest 2 percent of adults own more than half of the world's household wealth, and the richest 1 percent of adults owned 40 percent of global assets. In case you wonder where you fall, as of 2000 the richest 10 percent of adults had assets of $61,000 or more, and the top 1 percent had at least $500,000.

I have nothing against getting rich. I do wonder about the political consequences. Wealth is power, and power tends to institutionalize and advance its own interests. And while economics is not necessarily a zero-sum game, politics usually is.

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