Eliminating Economic Apartheid

Economic Apartheid Kills
Published on Monday, December 11, 2006.
By Joel S. Hirschhorn – BLN Contributing Writer

To be successful in overturning our elitist plutocratic system we should add economic apartheid to our semantic arsenal. Better than economic inequality, economic injustice and class warfare, because apartheid is loaded with richly deserved negative emotions. Sadly, in South Africa, economic apartheid has taken over from racial apartheid.

How ironic that the Bush administration successfully talked up the global threat from terrorism while it pursued domestic and foreign policies promoting economic apartheid, a far greater and more pervasive threat to national and global stability.

The human race on planet Earth, taken as an aggregate mass abstraction, may be getting richer. But a new report from the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University shows that wealth creation is remarkably – one might say criminally – unequal. Follow this hierarchy at the top of the wealth pyramid: The richest 1 percent of adults alone owned 40 percent of global assets in the year 2000; the richest 2 percent owned more than half of global household wealth; and the richest 10 percent of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. That leaves very little for the remaining 90 percent of the global population. Could it be any worse? Yes, the rich are still getting richer, more millionaires are becoming billionaires.

As to the world’s lower class: the bottom half of the world adult population owned barely 1 percent of global wealth, defined as net worth: the value of physical and financial assets less debts. Over a billion poor people subsist on less than one dollar a day. Every day, according to UNICEF, 30,000 children die due to poverty – that’s over 10 million children killed by poverty every year! Global economic apartheid is killing people.

Read the rest here.

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