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December 20, 2006

« Cultural vitality in communities | Main | Seoul is Getting Spikier »

The recent UN report on the global distribution of wealth has gotten a lot of media attention, focussed mainly on the startling fact that just 2% of the world's population account for more than half of all wealth; the top 10 percent own more than 85%.

Overlooked however is the extreme geographic concentration of that wealth.  "Almost all of the world's richest individuals live in North America, Europe, and rich Asia-Pacfiic countries," the study finds, which account for more than 90% of all global wealth.   37% of the world's richest 1% live in the US, 27% in Japan, most of the rest in Europe.

The study finds that  wealth is "more unequally distributed than income across countries. High income countries tend to have a bigger share of wealth than of GDP."

I can only imagine how this distribution looks within countries - how tall the world's richest regional peaks are?

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Michael Bindner

Over in the Capital Ownership Group, an online think tank, we have been debating the role of land ownership as part of capital (and home ownership with it). It is an interesting debate that reflects on exactly what this 1% owns.

See my comments on demographic tranistions in answer to the question you posed.

Michael Bindner

The only way to make the wealth less spikey is to purchase it as a group, both the land and the financial capital. Wealth after a certain point is not really about wealth, it is about power - including the power over creativity. Shift how power is distributed and wealth will follow. He who has the gold makes the rules, and the corollary is he who makes the rules gets the gold.

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