Crosspost: Wealth and Power in Perspective

[pullquote]The world’s four richest citizens — Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mukesh Ambani — have more in common with each other than they do with the bottom strata of their respective countries. Yes, they do handle their wealth differently. Gates and Buffett are giving most of it away, Ambani just built the world’s most expensive house, and Slim is somewhere in the middle. But all four can count on their home governments to take care of their needs first. Preserving that kind of social hierarchy is an unwritten assumption in deciding which solutions to the world’s problems arrive on the table and which do not. [/pullquote](Source)

Terrifying Fact of the Day.

The four richest men share a combined wealth bigger than that of the 57 poorest countries together.

Just to give an idea of the magnitude, I checked the Wikipedia page for the index of poorest countries. To measure this wealth, I used the gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita, that is, the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year divided by the average (or mid-year) population for the same year. To put it in layman terms, this index tells us the total money value of all final goods and services that are produced in an economy over a period of time.

This is the list of the 20 poorest ones (by decreasing order; meaning Zimbabwe is the poorest in the list), together with the population figures in millions. This gives us a combined population of 339.8 million people. I do not have the time to go through all 57 countries, but I believe this shortened list gives a good idea. The combined wealth of this four men, equals the combined production of these countries in a given year (population figures in millions next to each country):

  • Comoros 0.8
  • Madagascar 20.6
  • Guinea 10
  • Tokelau 1.4
  • Ethiopia 85.2
  • Malawi 15
  • Mozambique 22.8
  • Sierra Leone 6.4
  • Togo 6.6
  • Rwanda 10.7
  • Afghanistan 28.3
  • Central African Republic 4.4
  • Eritrea 5.2
  • Niger 15.3
  • Guinea-Bissau 1.6
  • Somalia 9.3
  • Liberia 3.9
  • Burundi 8.9
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the     70.9
  • Zimbabwe 12.5

Now, I would love for someone to come and tell me that privilege, as a concept to analyze socioeconomic facts and trends, does not exist.

Pyramid of Oppression

In the most random of moments, today I came across an article about the connections between the objectification of women and meat in advertisements. The article itself was about a conference that feminist author and animal rights advocate Carol J. Adams gave at Michigan State University. From the article about the conference: Read More Pyramid of Oppression

RLP Crosspost: “is a lifestyle choice”

This week’s entry from our friend RedLightPolitics is an older one, but I thought it fit in nicely with Spirit Day.  Don’t forget to read more of her writing at her Tumblr – today it’s PurpleLightPolitics!, and yes I’m going to tell you to go every week.  The more we read smart women writers, the more smart women writers will write.   In this week’s Crosspost, RLP’s optimism is thwarted by a Google search.  Her words after the cut. Read More RLP Crosspost: “is a lifestyle choice”