What to do if you have more Debts than Assets.

What to do if you have more Debts than Assets.

Oxfam defines wealth (or lack of it) as those who have more Debts than Assets.
 
Amazingly there are 62 people on this planet who have as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the world’s population according to Oxfam’s latest report. I had to stop a reread this a few times to take it in.
 

“An Economy For the 1%: How privilege and power in the economy drive extreme inequality and how this can be stopped”

Income, equality, wealth, global, Louise Hunt
The gap between income and equality is widening
 A uni graduate in a rich country with piles of student debt is defined as one of the world’s poorest people. Some (especially the student) would agree but  free market “think tanks” questioned the credibility of the figures.
Oxfam also says that the trend for income and equality between countries is actually declining as developing countries become richer.
 
The fastest growth in the emerging markets is closing the income and equality gap.
There is now an equal split of wealth between the Rich and the Developing markets thanks mainly to the growth of Russia, China, Brazil & India.
 
So is the rest of the world catching up? Not just yet. The US economy is still 8 x times as big as China per head.
 
Our world is wealthier now than ever before, the global economy having more than doubled over the last 20 years, growing between 2-5% most years since 2000. China 7 x fold, India & Brazil x 3 fold.
 
The gap between income and equality is, however, widening within the developed countries especially in US & UK.  Income share of the rich is increasing.
 
 Oxfam’s main solution is to crack down on Tax evasion.  Estimated at $7.6trn of the super-rich wealth is stashed in offshore accounts. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled.
Estimated at $7.6trn of the super-rich wealth is stashed in offshore accounts.
1% of the population hold 50% of the planet’s wealth.
Again this I find staggering and worrying as they must yield  immense power over the remaining 99% in one form or another.
 
Are you in the 1% Club? me neither, I’m in the “more debts than assets” camp, there are 70 million members who are and it’s not who you think.
Oxfam  “It’s anyone owning a property worth $800,000 (about the average price of a London townhouse)” So you could be.
 
How has this new found wealth changed our lifestyle?
Since 1990 access to improved sanitation has risen from 47% to 64%
1.7 billion more people have access to electricity
4 out of 10 people are now on the internet
Estimated 3/4 of people own a mobile phone
 
Resources, global wealth, equality, Louise Hunt
Can our Planet sustain the growth?
Today we use the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we need but by 2030, we will need 2 planets (source: Global footprint network)
I have to stop and think about this one .. it’s mind blowing how much energy we have to produce just to keep us all warm, clothed and fed.
 
Has it made us healthier?
Life expectancy has increased substantially to 71.5yrs on average but there is still a big gender divide.
Men will live to 69 and women to 74.
There are huge differences between countries Sierra Leone 45yrs Japan 83yrs. (source: Unicef)
But …and there is always a but, we are getting fatter. Worldwide obesity has doubled since 1990 (source: WHO) with Americas/Europe have double the rate of Africa and South East Asia.
 
Where does this leave us?
Oxfam “Our world is not short of wealth. it simply makes no economic sense, or indeed moral sense to have so much in the hands of so few”
 
To achieve this Oxfam makes the following recommendations:
  • Pay workers a living wage & close the gap with executive awards.
  • Promote women’s economic equality and women’s rights.
  • Keep the influence of the powerful elites in check.
  • Change the global system for R&D and the pricing of medicines so that everyone has access to appropriate & affordable medicines.
  • Share the tax burden fairly to level the playing field.
  • Use progressive public spending to tackle inequality.
Oxfam believes that “Humanity can do better than this, that we have the talent, the technology and the imagination to build a better world”
 

I believe we can change the world for the better.

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 Source: Oxfam & BBC

What to do if you have more Debts than Assets.

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