Chris Giles at the FT has interesting article in today’s FT on the global concentration of wealth. This article begs the question: Is it time for a global socialist movement? One of the more interesting observation is that if wealth were to be distributed equally everyone would have (US) $20,500 in assets to use. Not bad. That means a family of four would have $82, 000 in assets to make use of. This is a far cry from the regular insistence by economists that all redistribution would achieve is to make us all equal in poverty. Something to ponder when thinking about how to achieve global peace and sustainable development. It appears that the problem (Social Democrats take note) is not wealth creation, but, rather, wealth distribution. As with food as with assets.
Two per cent hold half of world’s assets

By Chris Giles, Economics Editor in London

Published: December 5 2006 13:13 | Last updated: December 5 2006 13:13

Personal wealth is distributed so unevenly across the world that the richest two per cent of adults own more than 50 per cent of the world’s assets while the poorest half hold only 1 per cent of wealth.

A survey released on Tuesday shows that middle-income countries with high growth rates still have a long way to go before they have a hope of catching up with the levels of prosperity of the richest.

Adults with more than $2,200 of assets were in the top half of the global wealth league table, while those with more than $61,000 were in the top 10 per cent, according to the data from the World Institutefpr Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-Wider).

To belong to the top 1 per cent of the world’s wealthiest adults you would need more than $500,000, something that 37m adults have achieved.

So much of the world’s wealth is concentrated in few hands that if all the world’s wealth was distributed evenly, each person would have $20,500 of assets to use.

Almost 90 per cent of the world’s wealth is held in North America, Europe and high-income Asian and Pacific countries, such as Japan and Australia.

While North America has 6 per cent of the world’s adult population, it accounts for 34 per cent of household wealth.