Tag Archives | Wealth

The Richer You Are the Older You’ll Get

Rupert Murdoch - Flickr - Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer (2).jpg

Rupert Murdoch. Photo by Eva Rinaldi (CC)

No surprise that mo’ money equals mo’ life. From the Wall Street Journal:

Money may not buy love, but it appears to buy years.

Economist Barry Bosworth at the Brookings Institution crunched the numbers and found that the richer you are, the longer you’ll live. And it’s a gap that is widening, particularly among women.

Mr. Bosworth parsed this data from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study, a survey that tracks the health and work-life of 26,000 Americans as they age and retire. The data is especially valuable as it tracks the same individuals every two years in what’s known as a longitudinal study, to see how their lives unfold.

The good news is that men of all incomes are living longer. Yet the data shows that the life expectancy of the wealthy is growing much faster than the life expectancy of the poor.

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Richest 1% Will Control Half of Global Wealth by 2016

The unprecedented rise of the wealthiest one percent has been massive news in the United States, but it’s a global phenomenon. The charity Oxfam has released a new study indicating that by next year the richest 1% of people will control half of the world’s wealth. Don’t expect them to stop there, of course.

oxfam fig 1

“In 2014, the richest 1% of people in the world owned 48% of global wealth, leaving just 52% to be shared between the other 99% of adults on the planet.1 Almost all of that 52% is owned by those included in the richest 20%, leaving just 5.5% for the remaining 80% of people in the world. If this trend continues of an increasing wealth share to the richest, the top 1% will have more wealth than the remaining 99% of people in just two years, as shown on Figure 2, with the wealth share of the top 1% exceeding 50% by 2016.”

Oxfam fig 2

[Full report available from Oxfam]

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What Wealth Does To Your Soul

A poor doctor takes the pulse of a rich, corpulent patient; Wellcome V0011750.jpg

“Getting rich won’t make you happy. But it will make you more selfish and dishonest,” says Michael Lewis at New Republic via The Week:

…What is clear about rich people and their money — and becoming ever clearer — is how it changes them. A body of quirky but persuasive research has sought to understand the effects of wealth and privilege on human behavior — and any future book about the nature of billionaires would do well to consult it.

One especially fertile source is the University of California at Berkeley psychology department lab overseen by a professor named Dacher Keltner. In one study, Keltner and his colleague Paul Piff installed note takers and cameras at city street intersections with four-way Stop signs. The people driving expensive cars were four times more likely to cut in front of other drivers than drivers of cheap cars. The researchers then followed the drivers to the city’s crosswalks and positioned themselves as pedestrians, waiting to cross the street.

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Gimme Nirvana Baby: On the Spiritual Journey of Ash from the Evil Dead Films

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Ugh. I’ve desperately tried to write this essay without referring–for the second essay in a row–to my Sunday living habits. They’re really not that interesting, and I understand that. But I’m sorry. Just like the last essay, the origins of this one occur during those existential lulls that seem to characterize a lot of people’s Christian Sabbath.

You see, in my household–after my morning workout– Sunday mornings are reserved for one of two rituals. One, because my wife is a practicing Catholic, we go to mass. Or, two–if we’re too lazy on that particular morning–we lay around in our sweats and my wife watches “Super Soul Sundays” on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Of the two, even though I am a blasphemer, heretic and just an outright nonbeliever, I greatly prefer going to mass, even though it means making the effort to look presentable in public on a Sunday morning and listening to some dweeb in a blouse tell me about how I need to make some more time for gahd/Jesus in my life.… Read the rest

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The Meritocracy is Made Up of Poor People

Photo credit DEA

Photo credit DEA

Paul Buchheit writes at Common Dreams:

Many wealthy Americans believe that dysfunctional behavior causes poverty. Their own success, they would insist, derives from good character and a strict work ethic. But they would be missing some of the facts. Ample evidence exists to show a correlation between wealth and unethical behavior, and between wealth and a lack of empathy for others, and between wealth and unproductiveness.

The poor, along with a middle class that is sinking toward them, make up the American meritocracy. Here is some of the evidence.

1. The Poor Don’t Cheat As Much

An analysis of seven different psychological studies found that “upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals.” A series of experiments showed that upper-class individuals were more likely to break traffic laws, take valued goods from others, lie in a negotiation, and cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize.

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Du Pont Heir Given Probation For Raping Daughter in Hush-Hush Case; Judge Said He Wouldn’t Fare Well In Prison

Pic: State of Delaware (PD)

Pic: State of Delaware (PD)

Du Pont Family heir (and son of a very powerful retired attorney) Robert H. Richards IV received a slap on the wrist in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to raping his three-year old daughter: Eight years probation. The offense is normally punishable by up to 15 years in prison, but Delaware Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden‘s rationale for the extremely lenient sentence was that the 6’4″ 264 lb. millionaire “[would] not fare well” in prison.

Richards’ arrest and subsequent trial was not disclosed by the District Attorney’s office and received no media coverage, locally or nationally. The details of Richards’ case only came to the attention of the public this month after his ex-wife filed a civil suit against him on behalf of their two children. The suit alleges that Richards also molested their son numerous times over the course of two years, beginning when the boy was 19 months-old.… Read the rest

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Billionaire Wants More Votes For The Rich

Yes, billionaire investor Tom Perkins is absolutely serious, the 1% should get more votes because they pay more in taxes (and if you pay no taxes, you would get no vote). From CNN Money:

Tom Perkins suggested Thursday that only taxpayers should have the right to vote — and that wealthy Americans who pay more in taxes should get more votes.

The venture capitalist offered the unorthodox proposal when asked to name one idea that would “change the world” at a speaking engagement in San Francisco moderated by Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky.

“The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes,” Perkins said.

“But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?”

The audience at the Commonwealth Club reacted with laughter. But Perkins offered no immediate indication that he was joking.

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Redistribute Wealth? No, Redistribute Respect.

Some_respect_please

Some respect please (CC)

Could a shift in perception heal the divide between the haves and the have nots in western society? What say you, Disinfonauts?

via The Week

What happened to America’s sense of egalitarianism?

“It is said that heaven does not create one man above or below another man.”
— Yukichi Fukuzawa

I’ve always been a communist revolutionary at heart. Inequalities between human beings have always annoyed me, and I have the strong desire to see them eliminated. In American society, we generally discuss three kinds of “equality”: 1) “equality of outcome”, usually meaning equality of wealth or income, 2) “equality of opportunity”, and 3) “equal rights” under the law. The first is typically supported by true communists and socialists, and some liberals; the second by centrist liberals; and the third by libertarians and conservatives. The arguments between proponents of the three types of equality are voluminous and endless.

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Why The Rich Are Freaking Out

Dollar symbol goldPolitico‘s Ben White tells us that the 1%, the super wealthy elite, are having a collective meltdown at the prospect of less favorable attitudes and laws targeting them:

The co-founder of one the nation’s oldest venture capital firms fears a possible genocide against the wealthy. Residents of Manhattan’s tony Upper East Side say the progressive mayor didn’t plow their streets as a form of frosty revenge. And the co-founder of Home Depot recently warned the Pope to pipe down about economic inequality.

The nation’s wealthiest, denizens of the loftiest slice of the 1 percent, appear to be having a collective meltdown.

Economists, advisers to the wealthy and the wealthy themselves describe a deep-seated anxiety that the national — and even global — mood is turning against the super-rich in ways that ultimately could prove dangerous and hard to control.

President Barack Obama and the Democrats have pivoted to income inequality ahead of the midterm elections.

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85 Wealthy Elites Have As Much Wealth As Half The World’s Population

rich peopleA group that could easily fit on a single subway car. Via the Guardian:

The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called ‘global elite’ is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

The development charity fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

The report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favor on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the report.

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