The unequal distribution of global wealth by individuals (not countries) should give us pause. Even the Wall Street Journal is impressed:
Here’s another stat that the Occupy Wall Streeters can hoist on their placards: The world’s millionaires and billionaires now control 38.5% of the world’s wealth.
How do we know? Because Credit Suisse has just published the second edition of its Global Wealth Report, in which they calculate the distribution of the world’s total wealth.
As readers can see above, the figures for mid-2011 indicate that 29.7 million adults, about 1/2 of one percent of the world’s population, own more than one third of global household wealth. Of this group, they estimate that 85,000 individuals are worth more than $50 million, 29,000 are worth more than $100 million, and 2,700 have assets above $500 million. Compare this to the bottom of the pyramid: 3.054 billion people, 67.6 percent of the world’s population, with assets of less than $10,000, who own a mere 3.3 percent of the world’s wealth. Add another billion people with assets between $10,000 and $100,000 and we have 91.2 percent of the world’s population that owns something on the order of 17.8 percent of total world wealth.
Clearly, global capitalism has enriched a tiny minority while leaving the vast majority at the bottom of the global wealth pyramid.