Wealth

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Eight men own more wealth that the rest of us in total!

Submitted: January 28, 2017

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Submitted: January 28, 2017

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According to Oxfam, eight men hold the majority of the world’s wealth! The actual figures are fairly startling and perhaps obscene when you consider to poverty in so many places around the world. Those eight guys no doubt contribute hugely to the world economy because whole industries are built around them and those industries employ a lot of people, fa gravy-train for some. Some of them own more than the economies of entire countries!

As well as those eight hugely wealthy men, there are plenty who don’t have to buy the cheap cuts of meat, who own high-end cars (perhaps a few of them), live in mansions and bask in their good fortune. Most of us that have but a few bob to rub together, dream about winning the lottery and becoming rich like them, even though good sense tells us it’s not going to happen.

Old Bert, the oracle used to say that you had to be in the other bugger’s boots to know what it’s like, and I’m here to tell you that old Bert was a wise guy! For instance, if someone suggested that I take Donald Trump’s place, I’d run a mile wade the Waimakariri and climb to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro to avoid doing so! On the other hand if I suggested that Donald Trump work half a day on the end of a chainsaw, I’m sure he would try to yak his way out of it, or reach for his wallet to pay me off, or call on a henchman to sort me out.

I know nothing about those top eight or and not much about those people wealthy mansion-dwellers, and while I could use a million bucks, I don’t really want to be in the shoes of ‘the elite’, if indeed that’s what they are. There is a suburb-cum-village of Arusha called Njiro, where the wealthy congregate to live. They have built flash houses and appear to have all the gaudy unnecessariness that wealth encourages. But to protect all of that stuff, they erect huge concrete black walls topped with electric fencing, or barbed wire. Access is through steel gates, locked securely with either electronic opening or security guards. So in fact they live in a sort of prison! If you are locked in, that’s a definition of jail.

Sudden wealth is probably a bit different to gradually amassing it, but nevertheless the security side associated with wealth can be problematic. Who can you trust? Lawyers and accountants have been found dipping their sticky paws into the honey pot either for advantage or for theft. There will always be hangers-on who believe you can afford to help them above anyone else, either through gifts or just acquiring. All of that is bad enough, but what about friends and relationships? The little green man, envy, becomes an enemy, so friends you have financially left behind, fall behind as friends, which encourages you to reach out to another bunch who are more like your financial equals. Enter the peacock syndrome where displaying wealth becomes competitive.

Children who don’t experience the value of life’s struggles or the value of social harmony often have no clue of how to survive without parental wealth. When they overstep legal boundaries, they don’t have to face up to the same consequences of someone unable to afford smart lawyers. Levels of substance abuse and depression are high among rich-list kids, and apparently they are just as delinquent as other kids albeit on another level. You see, while it is natural to look over the fence with envy at the rich buggers in this world, you have to be careful what you wish for.

Is the distribution of world wealth fair? Put another way, is the distribution of poverty fair? Children should not suffer the pain of hunger nor die of starvation, while fifty percent of world food production is wasted! Television is saturated with cooking programmes while countless numbers in the third world must find fuel before they can cook. There are ghastly diseases and infections that cause painful deaths in children and adults, meanwhile drug companies make generous profits for their shareholders. Huge tracts of the world population have no access to clean water, or even drinking water, while others clean their cars weekly and water their lawns with clean, treated water. People are being blown to bits in warzones and other areas while armament companies keep churning out their products meanwhile fearful civilians arm themselves for the same reason infants need security blankets.

There are some words that go together. By and large, black and white, body and soul, loo and paper. What about fair and equitable? Never will life anywhere be fair or equitable, because that’s just the way mankind has developed, but a little, just a smidgen, of either one of those is better than the way we are headed.


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