85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world

OXFAM estimates the richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

And he wealth of the one per cent of the richest people in the world amounts to $110tn (£60.88tn), or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world, added the development charity, which fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

It’s a chilling reminder of the depths of wealth inequality as political leaders and top business people head to the snowy peaks of Davos for this week’s World Economic Forum.



87 thoughts on “85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world

  1. ….and I’ll lay long odds that the breeding rate of the 3.5 billion is many times higher than that of the 85.
    Not to get too cynical, but ‘wealth’ (in monetary terms) relates directly to how many mouths need to be fed. (provided for)
    I had a cup of coffee with a mate yesterday who holds a position halfway up the foodchain in the local Council and has a better than ‘average’ income. He has five kids and five dollars in his wallet. It was embarrassing to open my wallet in front of him; god keeps stuffing money it when I’m not looking!

    Happily I can afford to throw some money at worthwhile causes, but my own personal ‘cost of living’ runs out at rather less than the dole for a single person….. and I don’t go without what I need. Does that make me one of the ‘rich’ or one of the ‘poor’?
    Or simply one of those who plays in a different field with different goalposts?

    But the bottom line is still:- whether it’s personal, national or global ‘wealth’ there’s a finite amount of resources to go around and apparently an infinitely growing demand; and the more hungry mouths there are the less resources are available.
    The god of ‘Go forth and multiply and fill the earth’ ought to be told to get stuffed ~ and y’might also note that he, himself., only sired ONE single offspring…..and arranged a short lifespan at that!
    (obviously not a catholic! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk )

    That said, the state of the world’s ‘wealth’ and ‘wealthy’ reminds me of the description an old cynic once made about a large, flash, expensive house which was for sale:-
    “It’s only standing up because the termites are still holding hands”.

    PS……Australia has eight MILLION square kilometers of land and eighty THOUSAND kilometers of coastline where one can set up camp for free, more or less; and yet the poorest Australians insist on living in cramped, polluted suburbs in million-dollar houses, and double that if they can get ‘glimpses of the bay’.
    ….and some ‘make do’ with living in shop doorways or parks in such ‘desirable suburbs’ rather than go where the opportunities are.
    It’s hard to show much sympathy for self-inflicted wounds. Especially deliberate ones.


      • Actually, it should be taken from you. The Government will make sure that your friend gets his fair share of your money. It will decide who gets what.


      • Well, I thought of that Kathleen, but Father Flannigan down at Sacré-Cœur down in Grey St (Bryan will know him) told me he’d help me redistribute it.


      • See my previous comment.
        I’d rather trust god!
        (and at least there’s Father Flannigan to keep HIM honest!)


      • After I pay my debt, I only care to have a modest, conservative life. I know and believed, even before I knew what that meant to be a believer. We shoould all do all we can to create smiles. Those are the things I want to follow me in this life, as well as the next.


    • In poor countries there is no unemployment benefits so you raise a few kids and hope they will be able to provide for you in your old age.

      When i asked in Indonesia why the poor people have so many children, i am told they can’t afford TV so they make their own movies.


      • I believe in contraception. Once hung a ‘rabbit-ear’ antenna 150 foot up a tree, pointing in a contra-indicated direction, and the reception was perfect.
        ……had to twiddle the knobs a bit though…….


    • “’ there’s a finite amount of resources to go around and apparently an infinitely growing demand”

      It’s not really the growth of demand that’s an issue. The basic economic problem STARTS with demand being far in excess of resources.


  2. …… and the govt gets its share: ripped off my bank-account for 28k a couple of
    weeks ago, due to an oversight by me. I rang and told them they couldn’t do that without a court-decision; they said they were the government and could do as they liked.

    I reminded them there was a shitfight going on in Syria, with a group of protesters trying to blow up another dictatorial fascist regime, and that I might try and recruit a mob of them to come over here and continue their good works.
    Two hours later a couple of coppers turned up on the doorstep with a clipboard and demanded to know what my terrorist connections were.

    I told them the only terrorist I knew was one of their senior-sargeants who moonlights as a mossad field-agent ~ and part-time animal rescuer. (True). They knew who I meant, looked into each other’s eyes deep-and-meaningfully, shook their heads and pissed off.

    That was MY contribution to the public good for the day.
    …what’s yours?


  3. I’m an advocate of private enterprise. I believe if someone through their own honest efforts can provide a more comfortable lifestyle for themselves and their family, they deserve that benefit. But that so much wealth is held by so few people is to my mind obscene.


    • aha! the ‘H’ word! The facility that can make mass-murder legal, and growing carrots (let alone pot!) illegal.
      But it highlights the real problem:- ‘honest’ is what others say it is ~ and enforce. (eg ‘Taxation’)
      And so is ‘wealth’. Anything (including a truckload of cash, or gold, for example) is only ‘wealth’ if others agree it is.
      The whole complex is a vast conspiracy which includes the ‘poor’ ~ many of whom wouldn’t have it any other way: because it’s what they ‘know’ (tradition!) and feel ‘comfortable’ about.

      I know that sounds silly, but there are plenty of examples around, even here in Oz. Try offering a homeless person, or one that’s struggling, stressfully, with an ‘honest’ mortgage, a free home and the possibility of providing for at least some of their own needs (like food and power) in an area outside of their ‘comfort-zone’ and see how you go.

      I recently tried for about a year to find such people, and the least offensive response was getting laughed at.

      Life certainly isn’t easy….but it seems we deliberately engineer it that way.

      ….But it may just be that they’re not desperate enough. (yet) Like, for example, the migrants that came half-way around the world (with no prospect of ever going ‘home’ again) from a bombed-out europe.

      What a depressing way to start the day!
      But it could be worse.
      …..we could all be stuck in Tasmania. 😉


      • That’s interesting Dabbles. I watched an episode of Oprah a few years back where she did just that. She chose one homeless person, gave him a home and a means of an income and he went back to the streets. She couldn’t wrap her head around it, but it was the life he had actually chosen and was comfortable with.

        Life isn’t so black and white. Sometimes throwing money at people’s isn’t the answer, they need the richess of ‘spirit’.


      • In my own personal life, a family member was struggling to put food on the table for multiple children. Came into the money owed her by the Govt. and just blew the whole lot. She did the same thing later in life when she came into an inheritance. She just gave it all away. I suspect that she has a slight mental illness (lots of bipolar and a bit of schizoprenia links). Now she is back struggling and family need to tend to her and sometimes I wonder if that was the plan in the first place. Maybe she has a fear of being financially ‘independant’.


      • That’s ok Strewth; I didn’t actually mean ‘legal’ in the strict sense either ~ rather ‘kosher’ or in the way of ‘tradition’: how things are done; the accepted convention.
        Not always easy to find just the right nuance, and ‘ethical’ is a word that opens the door to many more variations. Ethics is just a secular word for religious ‘morals’.

        ….and we make them all up as we go.

        Was it ethical for the jewish mother to suffocate her coughing baby because otherwise the nazi patrol would’ve discovered a whole group of hiding jews?
        Is it ethical (moral?) to hold up and rob a drug-dealer?

        ‘Honest’ is just another of those words; my point (though I rambled a bit) was that honesty lies in the eye of the beholder, so to use it as an absolute on which to build is, at best, risky.
        I think.


  4. I don’t think there should be any ‘stops’ to becoming that rich, but I do believe that once you become so rich you don’t need it, you have a moral obligation to put it to good use.

    Nobody should be forced to be charitable but they really ‘should’ be charitable.

    I agree with Dabbles, I’d rather decide who gets to redistribute my money and the Govt. would get it’s portion (give to Caesar), but I would rather give it to someone like the Priest that he trusts or the Sisters of the Poor. People I trust basically.


    • HI Kathleen,

      – You don’t get to elect the priests or sisters though do you.

      And don’t you think the government might have a better idea of the “big picture” of what Australia overall needs than yourself or the priests / sisters ?


      • The Govt can take care of things that it needs to, like infrastructure and law and order – and leave the charity to the rest of us.

        I ‘elect’ the sisters to redistribute the money I give them much better than bloated beaureaucrats.


      • I was reading an interesting article (bit old but I’ve read others) where the Govt.’s ‘charity’ in the form of permanent Welfare tends to do more harm than good because it is a constant flow of money and not a temporary fix. With charity that comes from a religious group or just compassionate strangers, there is no permanency – so it is a leg up and that’s it. Then the people have to help themselves out of that hole.

        “The intention of Welfare programs is to benefit low income Americans, especially children. Yet the evidence indicates that children and parents are actively harmed rather than helped by welfare.”

        Out-of-wedlock childbearing and single parenthood are the principal causes of child poverty and Welfare dependence in the U.S.

        Conventional Welfare programs were based on the assumption that material poverty or low family income is the principal cause of social and behavioral problems. Thus Welfare seeks to artificially boost household income. But the simple historical record calls into question this basic assumption. In 1950 around one third of Americans were poor; back in the 1920’s more than half of Americans were poor by today’s standards. If having a low income were the key cause of crime, illegitimacy, drugs, or child abuse, for example, then earlier periods should have been simply awash in those problems. Instead the opposite is the case, most social problems seem to have gotten worse as incomes rose.

        Clearly poverty is not the cause behind the growth of these social problems. Instead, it is the ethos within families that is critical; the norms and values imparted to children concerning: marriage, work, education, and self-control. Conventional Welfare, by undermining this ethos (especially with regard to work and marriage), has increased rather than diminished most social problems.”

        The effects of Welfare Reform:

        “Reducing poverty Opponents of Welfare reform charged that reform would throw millions of children into poverty. In reality, child poverty has dropped substantially since reform was enacted, from 20.8 percent in 1996 to 16.9 percent in 1999. (See Chart 2.) The black child poverty rate and the poverty rate of children in single mother families are now at the lowest points in U.S. history. States with strong workfare systems have tended to have more rapid declines in child poverty than have states with lenient work requirements.”



      • I don’t suppose you elected your mum, did you Bubba?
        But would you rather have been raised by her or some bloody bureaucrat who had a “better idea of the big picture” ~ even if he didn’t know you existed?
        (ALL of which terms need to be held up to the light and closely examined in the first place.)


      • “With charity that comes from a religious group or just compassionate strangers, there is no permanency – so it is a leg up and that’s it ‘

        Which must be real handy if you have a child with special needs. Or if you have an ongoing issue that will need continued support.

        “Out-of-wedlock childbearing and single parenthood are the principal causes of child poverty and Welfare dependence in the U.S”

        Yeah cause out-of-wedlock children never ever happened before there was welfare right? Oh hang on yeah it did. So you’d still have out-of-wedlock children just without any support for them. What a great idea.

        Mind you all the kids my brother and his partner have are born out-of-wedlock and they seem to be doing fine.


      • You’re right Bubba, out of wedlock (or mother/father relationship) children have happened before, but no way near the number that there is today. Why is that?


      • What do you mean by nowhere near the number ?

        Do you mean as a total or as a percentage of children born? And what do you mean by out of wedlock ? Would the son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell count as “out of wedlock” despite them being in a relationship since 1983 ?

        There are a range of societal changes, there’s less stigma nowadays to an out of wedlock child. There are more “non traditional” family models.

        As I understand it in Scandinavian countries out of wedlock births would be more likely to be the norm rather than the exception.


    • Quite agree, Kathleen. There’s a world of difference in ‘spending’ money (say ~ though it applies to any resource) and ‘using’ it.
      I’m not all that ‘rich’, but can make what I do have go a long way further than more ‘normal’ people can.
      No great credit due in that, though: it comes naturally to some small percentage of the population.

      Trying to explain it to someone without that instinct, though, is practically impossible.

      ….and just for the record, I said the priest OFFERED to redistribute a resource; not that I took him up on his offer. 😉

      ….and as for Caesar…….. 😯
      Do I LOOK like a christian??


  5. Welfare does not equate to dependency… it equates to food for children and the poor.

    Because… as the Oxfam report shows … the wealth of the world needs to be distributed more evenly. And the Pope agrees. But this has little to do with the rich, and everything to do with corporations controlling governments, spreading corruption, greed, lies, and myths.

    And so the ‘game’ begins…. making vulnerable emotional pregnant women feel guilty on abortion..(as if they didn’t have enough to worry about) calling them sluts who can’t control their libido… Obama is a Muslim socialist and baby killer with no birth certificate… Hilary Clinton is a slut… the Pope is a Marxist …. then they change the language and re-write history. Refugees become ‘illegal’ and something to hate… scapegoats… blame the navy… blame Indonesia…. cut benefits to the poor…increase tax benefits for the rich … change the school curriculum … create 54 private schools for the rich … $500,000 per child… teach intelligent design … avoid evolution and climate change…. change Aboriginal history… link homosexuals with pedaphiles… establish a national alcohol summit to combat youth binge drinking because they’re too stupid to figure it out… Aboriginal are ‘different’ with alcohol… we just put them in paddy wagons and lock them up… problem solved… penalties so harsh for drunk ‘coward punches’ it exceeds the punishment for rape … sack workers… cut unemployment benefits… bail out banks….

    So what does all this mean?

    Sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity … compliments of the corporations.


    • Do father’s have responsibility to bring money in? Do people who are alcoholics have a responsibility to try to dry up and be responsible for their children? Etc. etc. etc.

      We need to stop making excuses for people. Yes, you can be compassionate, you can help, but there are way too many people who are not helping themselves.


      • There are “many people who are not helping themselves” because they’re no longer allowed to do so. Social, economic and legal rules prevent men from being ‘Men’, and insist that women have no duty to fulfil the role of wives and mothers…… and that kids can do as they please because they’re protected by law from any sanctions (particularly a thick ear).

        It’s not possible to take responsibility for ANYTHING (including finances) without also having control over the relevant circumstances.
        It’s like sending a sheepdog out to round up a stroppy flock whilst under strict prohibitions on chasing sheep or barking at them, or sometimes even being in the same paddock..
        ….It’s called Political Correctness, (which has been incorporated into the body of the law and social structures) and is often based on such absurd notions that “everybody’s equal” (except where ‘affirmative action’ is declared), and that natural laws can be dispensed with.

        Similar scenarios apply to ‘bringing in money’, in a world where there’s no guarantee a breadwinner will have a job tomorrow (yet is exhorted into taking out a massive mortgage over decades ~ in a world of wildly-varying interest-rates over which he has no control, buying and maintaining a second or third car, etc.)…and where it’s a criminal offence to deny his wife access to what money he does manage to bring home, no matter how stupidly she may intend to squander it.

        Little wonder that alcoholism is becoming a problem across the board. It’s helplessness in the face of the world’s pressures that produce such displacement activities. And of course such impediments lead to all sorts of other stresses.

        As the man said:- My wife drove me to drink; it’s the nicest thing she ever did for me.

        If the traditional roles within marriage are to be abandoned, then marriage should also be.


      • To a certain extent, you’re probably right Dabbles. It shows that in the link above, how traditions and respect for marriage have crumbled and govt. interference and taking the place of father, mother, moraliser – have contributed to that.


      • Yes, men are abandoning their positions, but women are equally at fault, as you say, because many are too liberal with how they spend that hard earned money, they are too greedy. Put too much pressure on the man.


      • Dabbles check out this article! It shows that in the UK, women are choosing Govt. as their ‘partner’ rather than men.

        “Half of single mothers never live with partner after being enticed by benefits ‘lifestyle choice’

        “Studies said there is growing evidence that ‘lone motherhood is less a result of relationship breakdown, more a lifestyle choice’.

        Even health visitors are now instructed to encourage new mothers to get back into jobs.

        Yet six out of ten single mothers of under fives and a third of those with primary school age children still do not work.

        At the same time, more than 3million men are classed as ‘ economically inactive’, living on benefits or the black economy.”



      • Hardly surprising, is it?: “It shows that in the UK, women are choosing Govt. as their ‘partner’ rather than men.”
        Kids are also adopting governments (and other ‘charitable’ institutions) as their parents; largely because they’re more doting and less demanding.

        .And who can blame them? …all the benefits without any of the responsibilities.
        Too easy.
        …..your taxes at work. 😉


    • You are so right, Jimbo. Of course there are people taking advantage of the system, but that means only that the system needs more thought and development, not that it’s should be abandoned.


  6. ?? “Welfare does not equate to dependency… it equates to food for children and the poor.”

    um….aren’t children and the poor dependent on food?


      • I’d’ve thought that Blind Freddy could see that ( “Exactly why are you a follower of Jesus again ?”) god was a rather rigid Right Winger.
        “Take up thy bed and walk”, he said, as I recall.
        (Rather than wait for some government agency to come around to carry him AND his bed home from the pub.)


      • Exactly Dabs. I think there is place for Welfare, nobody is talking about scrapping it altogether but people do not to have a time limit and a criteria limit etc. Jesus also said to give the Govt. it’s dues but he didn’t say, make sure the Govt. takes care of charity on your behalf and for those who receive charity, like you say, get up and help yourselves now.

        With God’s help we don’t need much of Govt.’s help.


      • Hey Dab, I always pictured Jesus as a bit more of a radical, socialist, hippie than a rigid right winger.

        He also said “consider the lilies of the field….” and seem to have some ideas on wealth re-distribution.


      • I don’t remember reading Jesus saying that he believed in wealth redistribution. That people should be taxed so that the Govt can take care of things. As far as I know he asked people to be charitable themselves. Go out and feed the hungry, tend to the poor and lame yourself. Don’t hire someone.


      • So when Jesus advocated that the rich should sell all their possessions and give the money to the poor what was that if not wealth redistribution ?


      • “They can do whatever they want with their own money Bubba.”

        So can the people on welfare can’t they ?
        (unless they are Aboriginal of course)


    • Conservatives are saying welfare creates dependency… so no-one has incentives to look for jobs. I know …. they’re bloody stupid.
      Or do you think children and the poor should starve ?


      • No child will starve if their parents are determined to feed them. This is not the depression.


  7. So charity gives a one-off leg up rather than create a welfare state, but government really is getting to see the bigger picture – hopefully. Not just throwing money to people, but using money to address causes, to help people function well for themselves.

    If people just need a leg up, they are indeed more fortunate than many who have physical disabilities, intellectual handicaps, mental problems, and often less recognised psychological conditions.


    • Plenty of Christians give direct, they don’t go through the middle man. Quite a few Christian charities do much better work than the Govt.


      • also from the bible

        “and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need.”

        ” ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

        “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

        “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

        “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

        “‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. ”

        “If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need”

        ““The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.”

        “For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save their lives from those who would condemn them.”


      • I didn’t once see reference to ‘give your money to the govt. so that it can feed the needy on your behalf”

        Can you point me to that Bubba?


      • I didn’t see anything there about shifting goal-posts either. Your point seemed to be the rather simple statement that a man needs to work to eat mine was that the bible has plenty of passages that suggest otherwise.

        But as I’ve posted below in In 2011, Govt spending on welfare was $119.4 billion private charitable donations $2.2 billion.

        So I guess it’s fairly clear who’s doing the heavy lifting.

        Oh and doesn’t the bible also say “give unto Caesar” ? Surely a good Christian like yourself would be glad to pay your taxes ?


      • Help people to help themselves.

        I don’t know how old you are Bubba, but there is going to come a stage where the Pension is going to be unsustainable. People are going to have to start thinking about saving for their retirement.


      • Also, it’s a proven fact that when the govt. steps in, people tend with withdraw from charity as they think it’s taken care of.


  8. Here is one Govt. (I think) initiative in the UK that is making good use of money via supporting causes that result in jobs. I’ve been watching this series called The Secret Millions. It’s the Big Lotto Fund and what they do is they track down groups that have good ideas but don’t have the funds to jump start them i.e. One episode was about former Prisoners who found it hard to get work because of their record. There was a support group (don’t know the name) that were trying to organise for these men to learn a trade which in this case was woodwork. They secretly filmed these men and they always have a celebrity type who joins the show pretending that they’re filming them for some other reason (when in actual fact it is to see if it is feasible and whether the fund will give them a couple of million pounds to get it going). It was incredibly touching to see these men who had done their time and who really just wanted to get out of the ‘racket’. One pair were brothers and the elder brother was so worried that his younger brother would just go back to drug dealing. That was the environment they were brought up in and they had no self worth.

    The furniture and quality of work they did was tremendous and they actually got an order from a large furniture chain – who were well aware that the men were ex prisoners.

    It’s like working for the dole, but better.


    • Another episode was about young teenagers who were all on the dole, smoking and louting about. The project was to get a small group together, give them ‘temporary’ work renovating empty derelict homes for the poor and homeless. At the start of the experiment, not all the young ones were willing to work, turn up on time etc. A couple had an attitude and just stayed out on the street, smoking and chatting. It made you think, they don’t even want to help themselves but as the show went on you saw a change in them. Many were young boys who didn’t have a father figure and the tradesmen who were volunteering their time were also (without intending to) becoming father figures for them. They developed a bond and the kids really started to work hard and believe in themselves. It was just so emotional to watch. To listen to some of these kids talk like they had no hope for the future was incredibly sad.

      They had been on the dole for so long it was just demoralising.

      In the end the Big Lottery Fund did give the millions needed the charities initiative to hire more teenagers to do the same types of work and give them a trade and also open up the thousands of abandoned and derelict homes that were so badly needed. These young people’s faces just lit up. It was wonderful to see.


      • The third one I watched was with severely disabled children (one of the few people I believe should be cared for with Welfare longer term if needed). This charity were trying to get a farm happening where the children could stay independant of their parents. They showed about 5 different families and how each of them coped. Some parents never really allowed their kids any freedom to do anything for themselves as they didn’t think they could cope and they worried too much. Also they were incredibly tired and in need of some free time to themselves as well.

        Well at this farm the kids blossomed. They communicated with others, (one girl in particular could not be understood but was so full of the love of life and enthusiasm, it was though she were trapped in a mute body and was frustrated at not being ‘listened’ to). They tended to garden and animals. One girl who was Down Syndrome, cooked so well her parents couldn’t believe it.

        They felt they were contributing. They needed the space away from their well meaning but sometimes suffocating parents. I just plain cried. It was beautiful.


  9. Why is it that when people mention wealth redistribution they always think Govt. taxes.

    When people work hard, get rich and create jobs – aren’t they creating money and redistributing it via wages?


    • So you’re also a fan of trickle down economics. Can I ask are you for real or is the “Kathleen” we’re reading just an elaborate right-wing caricature?


      • Bubba, you’re such a dyed-in-the-wool socialist. Does Govt. tuck you in at night?

        The Basics of Trickle-down Economics

        ­”Now that we have an idea of how the idea came about, let’s try to put all the pieces together to understand trickle-down economics as a whole. According to Say’s Law, boosting production is the key to crawling out ­of a recession. Tax breaks improve tax revenues, and according to Laffer’s curve, they also boost production. Giving tax breaks to the wealthy stands as a policy meant to improve the overall health of the economy.

        Opponents of this economic theory tend to believe that politicians who support it are in the pockets of wealthy businessmen. They often summarize trickle-down economics to something resembling Will Rogers’ definition: The policy of giving breaks to the rich first and hoping the benefits will eventually make their way to the working classes. Proponents of trickle-down (or supply-side) economics object to this evaluation, calling it not just an oversimplification but a misinterpretation of what they hypothesize will happen.

        Thomas Sowell, an ardent supporter of trickle-down theory, argues that the popular definition gets it backward. Instead of benefiting the wealthy first, the policy actually benefits the working class first. This may sound impossible — after all, it’s the wealthy who get the tax breaks, not the poor. However, Sowell maintains that because the wealthy make investments in order to make a profit, they spend the money first on expenses of the business venture. (In other words, spending money to make money.) These wealthy investors must pay workers, thus creating jobs, before they can expect to see any profits. Therefore, it’s the workers who receive the most immediate relief .

        ­While it might­ be true that some wealthy members of society seek tax breaks for self-serving purposes and might even bribe politicians into voting for these policies, trickle-down economists would consider this irrelevant to the question of whether the theory works for everyone. John F. Kennedy showed his support of the trickle-down economic theory when he said, “a rising tide lifts all boats” — meaning that a growing economy benefits you whether you’re rich or poor .”



      • Riiiight I’m a socialist, I suppose you can point out where I’ve advocated that the means of production should be controlled by either government or social collectives that such production should be planned and driven on need rather than market based driven on profit ?

        ‘Cuase that’s what a socialist position would be. BUT I strongly suspect that you’re not using any kind of economic definition of a socialist but merely a ‘Fox News” definition of socialism along the lines of daring to suggest that government has a role to play in providing some services to the tax-payer.

        And on that topic well lemme think I’m alive today because of the hospital system our govt provides, as is my wife and kids, the roads I drive on were provided by the govt, as is the water and electricity that comes to my house, ditto the sewage that leaves said house, the trains and buses also courtesy of govt, when I’ve needed to call an ambulance guess who provided that too? The state educated me pretty well through school and I’m fairly sure they also contributed to the uni’s I’ve gone to. I’ve never had to rely on either the police or fire services but I’m sure that they are pretty good and provided by the govt. And even this handy little telecommunications network that I’m using now was started by the got.

        So yep the government does a bit for me. Any idiot can see that.

        Trickle down economics sounds great in theory, if you could point to it actually working in practice I’d be amazed. Corporate welfare is ok with you I take it ?

        Oh those poor rich people won’t somebody think of them.


        Oh and I’m more of a Keynesian when it comes to economics.And a fan of the free market, just not in a laissez-faire manner.


      • hehehehehehe! —> That’s MY kind of taxation system:- “Tax breaks improve tax revenues,”.
        I hope you lot appreciate what I’ve done to “improve tax revenue” :lol;

        Theoretically, then, if NOBODY paid taxes the ATO would be absolutely afloat on an ocean of money?

        Sounds like Sir Humphrey Appleby looking for a Nobel Price for Economics!


    • That question has more prickly points than an echidna!
      First step would have to be to define and agree what, exactly, the terms meant in this particular conversation, since variation could be almost infinite.
      eg. ‘work’, ‘hard’, ‘rich’, ‘create’, ‘jobs’, etc.

      Many years ago I spent quite a lot of time ‘working hard’ and coincidentally creating jobs for others as well as a sell-able product (= ‘money’) and didn’t even LOOK like getting rich…..at 5 cents per day, plus board.

      ’twas called ‘Turning biggies into littlies’: 200/500kg lumps of bluestone into gravel, with a 16-lb sledgehammer, so’s the (non-productive) bean-counters and paper-shufflers, and gun-toting enforcement thugs could justify their share of the ‘wealth’. (Though admittedly I wasn’t paying taxes during that period ….and developed my detestation of taxation and disdain for taxpayers. 😉 )

      But governments are seen as the ‘distributor and redistributor’ of money because ~ though they allow you to borrow it and play with it ~ every coin and note ever ‘created’ ALWAYS belongs to the State which created it.

      Blessed be the Name of the State!

      Blessed Be Your Name
      In the land that is plentiful
      Where Your streams of abundance flow
      Blessed be Your name

      Blessed Be Your name
      When I’m found in the desert place
      Though I walk through the wilderness
      Blessed Be Your name

      Every blessing You pour out
      I’ll turn back to praise
      When the darkness closes in, Lord
      Still I will say

      Blessed be Your name
      When the sun’s shining down on me
      When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
      Blessed be Your name

      Blessed be Your name
      On the road marked with suffering
      Though there’s pain in the offering
      Blessed be Your name

      Every blessing You pour out
      I’ll turn back to praise
      When the darkness closes in, Lord
      Still I will say

      You give and take away
      You give and take away
      My heart will choose to say
      Lord, blessed be Your name



      • “so’s the (non-productive) bean-counters and paper-shufflers, and gun-toting enforcement thugs could justify their share of the ‘wealth’. ”

        Bubba will instruct you on what those bean-counters will do with your money. Of course they won’t waste it. They will surely redistribute it better than anybody possibly could.

        Actually that was another question I had. I wanted to know whether if I compared actual charities and the Govt. – who better uses the money given to them to help the needy. It was an interesting outcome showing how much out of the dollar goes to the poor……


      • “. Of course they won’t waste it. They will surely redistribute it better than anybody possibly could. ”

        Why would that be the case ?

        But you don’t see many of em driving BMW’s or spending tens of millions updating their private residences.

        You or I could download the federal budget and see how every cent the government gets is allocated. Are there many Churches where you can say the same ?

        This is an interesting article on the topic. Don’t know how well it would translate from the USA to Australia though.
        “The 50 worst charities in America devote less than 4% of donations raised to direct cash aid. Some charities gave even less. Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. Six spent no cash at all on their cause. ”


      • In 2010–11, Australian Government and state and territory goverment welfare spending was estimated at $119.4 billion http://www.aihw.gov.au/

        In 2011, Australians donated $2.2 billion to charity (Sydney morning herald)


      • Govt’s don’t waste tax payer money? Are you serious Bubba? I wonder what Greece has to say about that.

        Here is just one example, plucking out of the Welfare issue we’ve been talking about:

        “More than 11 per cent of households in the top 20 per cent of the income distribution — with incomes above $115,000 — receive some form of welfare payment, along with almost a third of households in the next 20 per cent.”

        Am I against Big Govt??? lol

        Charity also comes in the form of families taking care of their own. Something people used to do much more in the old days.

        Fiscal responsibility needs to be taught in schools if parents aren’t going to teach it. I know there are some charities that are doing that. Teaching families about compound interest, starting from young, not spending more than you earn and then being a burdon on tax payers.

        There is a lot that can be done.


      • I didn’t realise that we lived in Greece. I also don’t recall where I stated that there is no such thing as government waste.

        I merely suggest that in comparison to organisations like a church the government is more open and accountable and that there is a considerable amount of “waste” with some charities.


      • The biggies that high level income earners seem to be getting are those related to the costs of children. Family tax rebate and child-care rebate.

        IF you’re concerned about the ageing population and the tax-payer based required to support pensioners (as you seem to be above) then you’d have to be for incentives that encourage couples to have more children.

        Having said that I’d agree that there are a range of services and payments offered by the government that could potentially be means tested (or further means tested)

        I’d also agree with teaching fiscal responsibility. It’s a skill that most parent’s don’t really bother to teach.


  10. Welfare fraud? Is it a problem or are all welfare people feeding starving children.

    Testimony before House Ways & Means Committee
    CHILD CARE FRAUD – July 17, 2003
    (with follow-up)

    Statement of Michael G. Rice, President, United Council on Welfare Fraud
    “Fraud and Abuse in Government Child Care Assistance Programs”

    Summary of the problem:

    The UCOWF Child Care Fraud Survey:
    The cost of providing child care is significant, to say the least, (Virginia’s Child Care Program budget for FY 2003 is $115,000,000), and the potential for fraud is high. From my own experience as a welfare fraud prosecutor, I can assure you that a case of child care fraud can result in a substantial loss of taxpayer monies in a very short period of time. The extent of the problem nationwide, while recognized generally, is still being evaluated, but many states have not kept statistics. The United Council on Welfare Fraud, in an effort to reach a better understanding of the extent, nature and impact of child care fraud across the nation, conducted a survey in 2002.

    Forty of the 42 state fraud directors polled were of the opinion that child care fraud posed a problem in their states and of the two answering in the negative, one still provided examples of the types of child care fraud that has occurred within its boundaries.

    Eighteen states had not been keeping statistics on child care fraud, but of them, several responded that the local county agencies administering the services did maintained fraud databases. In those states that did maintain detailed statistics, fraud was discovered in upwards of 69 percent of the investigations conducted with total annual discovered fraud amounts ranging from $10,000 to over $1 million.

    The types of fraud observed in the states were evenly divided between recipient (client) fraud and provider fraud, recognizing instances where there was collusion between both parties to defraud the system.

    A recipient may understate income to the household, rendering the household eligible for services. This can be done by underreporting the amount of hours worked or wages earned by the client, failing to report the presence of a responsible wage earner in the household, falsely claiming residence in the county or falsely claiming a child care expense when none exists. Failing to report a loss of employment or claiming non-existent employment, rendering a client ineligible for child care services also constitutes a fraud on the system.

    In one recent Colorado case a client forged her pay stubs reducing the claimed amount of income to her household. As a result she received over $12,000 in child care assistance over 14 months to which she was not entitled.

    Two Virginia women failed to report that their husbands were employed and residing in their homes resulting in losses of $16, 482.00 and $15, 962.00, respectively.

    A Minnesota woman falsely reported living alone when her able-bodied husband was, in fact, in the household and collected more than $91,000 in child care assistance over four years.

    In another Colorado case, a client claimed residence in one county while residing in another. A recovery of $33,553.00 was established for a two year period.

    A Rochester, New York woman, whom I prosecuted, claimed that her brother was caring for her 11 children. Payments were sent in her brother’s name to her mother’s address. The brother, in fact, had been incarcerated for over 10 years on a rape conviction and her husband was, in fact residing in the household and caring for the children. The loss amount was limited to $77,000 because agency records failed to cover the entire period of the fraud. The illegally obtained money made the client ineligible for the food stamps the family received and the Section 8 housing in which they resided.

    Another Rochester woman stole an acquaintance’s social security card, established a vendor account using the acquaintance’s social security number and her own mother’s address. Twenty-seven thousand dollars in child care payments were sent to her mother who signed the checks and gave them to the recipient over a two year period. Free care for five children was provided by the client’s mother and her 85 year old grandmother.

    In Wyoming, two sisters claimed a third was providing day care for their children when, in fact, the third sister was fully employed and they were not. This resulted in a loss of $6,700 over a period of 14 months.

    Similarly, two Virginia clients, employed by the same company, claimed each provided services for the other when, in fact, they worked the same hours. A claim of $36,474.00was established.

    Another Virginia woman failed to report that she had lost her job on three separate occasions, yet continued to send her children to child care each time. The overpayments totaled nearly $4000.

    Providers can commit fraud by claiming children who aren’t being watched, by misrepresenting the number of hours that services were provided or by charging more to care for government funded children than private pay children. They also engage in collusion with recipients and split payments to which they are not entitled.

    A Wyoming provider got $41,600 over 1 ½ years claiming services for children who were not there and padding the hours for those that were there.

    A Colorado provider billed $6,685 for children who had not been in his care for 4 months.

    Another Wyoming provider filed claims for children who were not in attendance at a rate higher than that charged to non-child care assistance covered children; a claim was established for $112,800.for a three year period of fraud.

    A Minnesota couple is under investigation for taking kickbacks from a child care center that billed the system for over $41,000 from November 2001 through December 2002 under the pretense of caring for the couple’s five children.

    A California client sent her children to a free child care center and claimed that the services were provided by a family member. The two split $15,900 in illegal child care payments.

    Cheats can take both forms. In a particularly egregious case, a Minnesota woman applied for child care assistance, claiming to support four children on an income of $3,100 a month. In another county, however, she operated an in-home day care center and was paid $854,000 over six years. She pleaded guilty to receiving more than $134,000 in fraudulently received child care reimbursements.


    • ….there is no end of such case-studies ~ the main point of which seems to be keeping the bean-counters and a horde of other non-productive bureaucrats in ‘work’ ~ in itself a fraudulent claim since what they do doesn’t fit the precise economic definition of ‘productive’ …..nor the scientific definitions of ‘work’.
      …..and all of whom whom receive a more than handy income from the Tax Collectors. (No ‘fraud’ there though: just straight-out unashamed robbery with threats of violence.

      Self-serving (and declared) Righteousness, and particularly Self-righteousness, has got no business trying to enforce DIFFERENT values upon others.

      That said, I reiterate the claim that the ‘right’ to uncontrolled breeding is at the root of both poverty-stricken kids and parents with no sense of ‘honesty’ or self-respect.
      In a more natural (evolutionary/tribal) environment such people wouldn’t be around for long.
      ….and neither would the bureaucratic/political parasites who leech off them.


    • That’s ok. The Septics get it all back in death ‘duties’ ~ a mind-boggling concept if you think about it! (and which is on the agenda for re-introduction here, too.)
      ….meanwhile the chinese are sitting on warehouses full of ACTUAL US dollars, which they ‘playfully’ threaten to dump on the world markets, making $US valueless and thus crashing the world. Armageddon. How delicious is the thought that communist atheists (where’s Alexie when you need him??!!) will be responsible for the Second Coming?? 😆

      Question for the week is:- How much crap the americans will to cop from the chinese before they can no longer resist their nationally-natural urge to chuck bombs around?

      We live in interesting times.


  11. Africans don’t want your money, they want your business: (Great article, well worth a read)

    “These days, Africans are more occupied with trade and economical opportunities rather than handouts as often advocated by the NDP. Even though handouts may have been the best solution in the short term, in the long term, they have provided dependency and corruption for decades. In short-term objections, Canadians have raised millions and helped in time of immediate need such as famine.

    In the passionate exchange on the role of the Government of Canada via CIDA in Africa between the NDP MP and the Minister of International Cooperation, I side with Julian Fantino in what I think is best for Africa.”



  12. Greece is a good example of ‘too good to be true’ governance. High wages, early retirement, and a tax rate of 40 to 50%. The people would be happy to pay that tax for all the Govt. is doing right? Wrong. High rates of tax avoidance (as it doesn’t matter what people are getting for it, they don’t like having half their pay taken). Then comes the Govt. borrowing and borrowing and borrowing to keep that utopia going I suppose?

    Now what?


    • The New World Order ~ and what’s being called a ‘reset’ currency (read a global currency the value of which is dictated (and endlessly manipulated) by some bureaucracy probably within the UN. It’ll make communism look like a sandpit full of 3 year-olds.

      ….and ALL the plaster ducks are on the wing…… and are being lined up.
      (Get ready to throw away your plastic ‘money’ ~ cash AND cards.)


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