Occupy has a point

The economies of the United States, Canada, and the UK are controlled by a tiny minority at the expense of the masses. This is the conclusion of these reports leaked from the major international bank “Citigroup” in 2005 and 2006. If you don’t have much time, just look at report 1, especially the yellow bits and figure 4. In figure 4 you even can pinpoint the takeover of Britain’s economy by the super rich to Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 election victory:

Click to access citigroup-plutonomy-report-part-1.pdf

Click to access citigroup-plutonomy-report-part-2.pdf

Click to access citigroup-plutonomy-report-part-3.pdf

Also, internationally, the tendency is for those who live in more equal societies to be more socially mobile:

Contrary to popular perception, the United States has one of the rich world’s lowest rates of social mobility, second only to Britain. About half of the advantages of having a parent with a high income are passed down in Britain, compared with 15% in Denmark:

There are intuitive reasons to believe these facts are linked – greater gaps are usually harder to cross. This gap is the reason Occupy has slogans like “We are the 99%”. A lot of people get angry with Occupy because Occupy claims to be “anti-capitalist”. A common argument from Occupy’s opponents is that it is not capitalism’s fault that things are so bad, it is the corrupted form of capitalism we live under that is responsible. This is a viewpoint that I can have some sympathy for, but Occupy’s point that the political system and the economy are dominated by the top 1% at the expense of the other 99% still stands. Graphs like this:

Click to access inequalitygraph.pdf

Give some flavour of the problem. This is brief, but my intention is to spark your interest, and to give some credence to the notion that more equal is often preferable to less equal.

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