The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

In What Crazy System Does 62 Equal 3.6 Billion?

Feb 1, 2016

Just 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6 billion people in 2015–the bottom half of humanity, according to Oxfam, an international organization against poverty. So, a very tiny minority–much, much less than one percent of the world’s population–has very extreme wealth.

These filthy rich people did not get rich by working extremely harder than other people. These people got rich by controlling social and economic power. For example, governments reduce taxes on rich people’s earnings and provide schemes for the rich to escape from paying taxes. Today, tax-safe havens, such as Cayman Islands, the Vatican and Ireland, enable the richest individuals to hide 7.6 trillion dollars, according to Oxfam.

Above all, such extreme wealth politically and legally empowers the rich to steal away the wealth created by working people. As a result, the great majority of people lose their income and benefits, and some their homes. Huge numbers of people are driven into poverty and their numbers are increasing every year. This happens because businesses cut working people’s income, increase prices and pay reduced taxes because of business tax breaks.

This is the face of capitalism staring at us. In this system, the rich rule. And income and wealth created by working people are sucked up, not trickled down.

Our world is not short of wealth and technology, nor above all of people. The size of the global economy has more than doubled over the past 30 years. In 2014, its value reached nearly 78 trillion.

That wealth belongs to all the working people who produced it–it needs to be claimed back from those who stole it.