No peace without justice

Sunday, October 24, 2010
A homeless man in Sarajevo. The politicians of the world’s richest nations justify their wars against some of the world’s poorest nations with talk of stopping ‘terrorism’. But they never address the single most obvious source of global conflict: gross global inequality. Photo: Wikimedia

Just 8% of the world’s population owns 79.3% of the world’s total wealth, a new study by the research wing of the giant Swiss bank, Credit Suisse found, Sam Pizzigati said on the A World of Progress blog on October 18.

Further, 35.6% of all wealth is held by just 0.5% of the world’s 4.4 billion adults.

On the opposite end of the scale, 68.4% of the world’s adults get to share just 4.2% of global wealth.

If you want to work out where you fit in on the global wealth spectrum, to be in the top 0.5% you have to have a net wealth (total assets minus all you owe) of more than US$1 million. To be in the top 8%, you need a net wealth of $100,000.

Pizzigati wrote that, notwithstanding the Global Financial Crisis, no other nation holds as much total wealth as the United States.

“With only 5.2 percent of the world’s population, the United States can claim 23 percent of the world’s adults worth at least $100,000 and an even greater proportion, 41 percent, of the world’s millionaires”, he wrote.

Credit Suisse’s research calculated that globally there was $194.5 trillion in wealth. If this was shared evenly across the globe, every adult in the world would have a $43,800 net wealth.

The politicians of the world’s richest nations justify their unending wars against some of the world’s poorest nations with talk of stopping “terrorism”. But they never address the single most obvious source of global conflict: gross global inequality.

Is it even possible to imagine a world without conflict, when half the world’s population holds under 2% of world wealth while the world’s richest 1% hog 43%?

There will be no peace without justice, as Green Left Weekly has argued consistently since it was established in 1991. We’ve also argued there can be no environmentally sustainable future without addressing inequality and injustice.

If you agree with us, why not join the band of loyal supporters who keep the GLW project afloat? We don’t expect to get much of a hearing with the world’s richest 0.5%. We speak for the billions, not the billionaires.

It’s ordinary people, struggling to make ends meet, who each week also dedicate some of their time — and money — to keeping GLW afloat, as part of the struggle to end such unsustainable and obscene global inequality.

You can donate online to GLW here, or direct deposits can be made to Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, account no. 00901992.

Otherwise, you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007 or donate on the toll-free line, 1800 634 206 (within Australia).

Last week, our supporters raised $4040 for our fighting fund. But we still have to raise $127,721 to meet the $300,000 target by the end of the year. Can you help us get there?

From GLW issue 858