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While there are some technical problems with this specific number, most of the other numbers about global inequality point clearly to the huge and growing inequality that, with a few, very temporary exceptions, has been capitalism's product now for centuries. In 2014 Thomas Piketty published a volume that explained why as well as reviewed the key statistics which he (and his colleague Emanuel Saez at UC-Berkeley) have been developing for decades. For me all this points to and supports one basic line of criticism of capitalism. I would present it this way. The French revolution that ushered capitalism into modern European history had three slogans: liberte, egalite and fraternite. That is, the transition from feudalism to capitalism was to bring the world those three basic values. One reason Marxbecame a critic of capitalism was because he saw that while capitalism had indeed replaced feudalism as the dominant economic sysatem in mid-nineteenth century Europe, it had NOT brought with it equality. Inequality, fostered and worsened by capitalism as a long-term structural tendency, is a profound critique of capitalism; It was and it is today, perhaps more than ever now. And Oxfam keeps producing the data and analysis to prove it.

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  • Timothy Hutchinson
    commented 2017-02-05 16:03:49 -0500
    Although I might not understanding what technical problems there may be, I think the situation is worse, Oxfam also failed to acknowledge the wealth of Vladimir Putin, a CNN contributor put his wealth at $200 billion. Shrinking the 8 to 4 and making the time honored profession of robber baron the most profitable in the world. A stack of 4 or 8 birth certificates would not make it to the first tick on a ruler if I were to measure the height, but the height of 3.5 billion birth certificates it would put the top of the stack in low earth orbit. (paper thickness = .1 mm , 8 pieces of paper = .8 mm 3.5 billion pieces of paper = 350 km).
  • Timothy Hutchinson
    tagged this with good 2017-02-05 16:03:49 -0500
  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-02-04 20:05:43 -0500
  • Ali Reda Jeafar
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-02-04 15:47:49 -0500