If we’re to be successful fighting oppression – whether based on race, class, species, or gender identity – we’re going to need to fight the heart of the economic order that drives these oppressions. We’re going to have to fight capitalism. (Bob Torres)

Through greed, profiteering, and exploitation, orthodox capitalism cruelly promotes global poverty and deprivation for billions of people.

But, according to the World Bank’s report Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016 – Taking On Inequality extreme poverty has apparently declined significantly globally.

In 2013, the year of the latest comprehensive data on global poverty, 767 million people are estimated to have been living below the international poverty line of US$1.90 per person per day.

Since 1990, this steady decline represents 114 million fewer poor people in a  single  year.

Much  of  the  observed  reduction  was  driven  by  progress  in  the  East Asia and Pacific region (71 million fewer poor) and South Asia (37 million fewer poor).

Almost 11 people in every 100 in the world, or 10.7 percent of the global population, were poor by this standard, about 1.7 percentage points down from the global poverty headcount ratio in 2012.

So, the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development: Goal 1 is aiming to achieve: “NO POVERTY – END POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS EVERYWHERE” by the year 2030.

But is poverty really on the decline and will the UN really achieve their goal under the current corrupt capitalist system?

And what about the shameful imbalance of inequality between the elite rich and the global poor?

Economic Inequality

According to a report released by Oxfam AN ECONOMY FOR THE 99% (January 2017) just EIGHT men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity.

The reports also states that the global inequality crisis continues unabated:

  1. Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet
  2. Eight men now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world
  3. Over the next 20 years, 500 people will hand over $2.1 trillion to their heirs – a sum larger than the GDP of India, a country of 1.3 billion people
  4. The incomes of the poorest 10% of people increased by less than $3 a year between 1988 and 2011, while the incomes of the richest 1% increased 182 times as much
  5. A FTSE-100 CEO earns as much in a year as 10,000 people working in garment factories in Bangladesh
  6. In the US, new research by economist Thomas Piketty shows that over the last 30 years the growth in the incomes of the bottom 50% has been zero, whereas incomes of the top 1% have grown 300%
  7. In Vietnam, the country’s richest man earns more in a day than the poorest person earns in 10 years

The Top 8 Global Rich List

The world’s 8 richest people according to the Forbes Billionaires list (March 2016), in order of net worth:

  1. Bill Gates: US founder of Microsoft (net worth $75 billion)
  2. Amancio Ortega: Spanish founder of Inditex, Zara fashion chain (net worth $67 billion)
  3. Warren Buffett: US CEO, largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth $60.8 billion)
  4. Carlos Slim Helu: Mexican owner of Grupo Carso (net worth: $50 billion)
  5. Jeff Bezos: US founder, chairman, chief executive of Amazon (net worth: $45.2 billion)
  6. Mark Zuckerberg: US chairman, CEO, co-founder of Facebook (net worth $44.6 billion)
  7. Larry Ellison: US co-founder, CEO of Oracle (net worth $43.6 billion)
  8. Michael Bloomberg: US founder, owner, CEO of Bloomberg LP (net worth: $40 billion

(Oxfam’s calculations are based on Forbes (2016) and the global wealth distribution data provided by the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Data book 2016. Forbes have subsequently released their latest Billionaires List)

Global Poverty & Hunger Stats

The Hunger Project states the following shameful facts affecting the poorest half of the global population:

  • About 896 million people in developing countries live on $1.90 a day or less
  • Rural areas account for 70% of people living on less than $1.90 a day
  • 22,000 children die each day due to conditions of poverty
  • 50% of the world’s hungry are women
  • Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to under-nutrition. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year
  • 50 percent of pregnant women in developing countries lack proper maternal care, resulting in approximately 300,000 maternal deaths annually from childbirth
  • 1 out of 6 infants are born with a low birth weight in developing countries
  • Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases
  • 663 million people lack access to clean water
  • 2.4 billion people do not have adequate sanitation
  • Each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related  diarrhoeal diseases

What’s The Solution?

The world economy already produces enough to provide a decent standard of living for every man, woman and child on the planet.

The United Nations stated in its 2016 report, “No Poverty: Why it Matters”: “To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, economist Jeffrey Sachs calculated that the total cost per year would be about $175 billion. THIS REPRESENTS LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF THE COMBINED INCOME OF THE RICHEST COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD.”

And yet the disparity in the distribution of global wealth, as represented above by the shameful facts and figures of poverty and hunger, clearly shows that capitalism, in its current exploitative and corrupt form, MUST be re-formed for the benefit of ALL citizens of planet Earth.


As part of The Peaceful Planet’s ‘Paxlist economic‘ proposals, we also support and propose a ‘World Basic Income‘, which would mean every person on the planet would receive a weekly unconditional Basic Income – whatever their circumstances, and no matter where they live.

For a brief history of the Basic Income click here.

Why wait 20 years for the UN to achieve it’s goals? A Universal Basic Income can save the lives of the many millions of men, women and children right NOW who are currently suffering and dying of poverty and hunger caused by an economic monetary system borne out of profiteering, exploitation and greed – and a system which also places a greed value on the head of every non-human animal on the planet which, in turn, is quite literally costing us the Earth.

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