A huge study of 20 years of global wealth demolishes the myth of 'trickle-down'

Inequality has remained persistently high for decades, and a new report shows just how stark the divide is between the richest and poorest people on the planet.

The 2022 World Inequality Report, a huge undertaking coordinated by economic and inequality experts Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, was the product of four years of research and produced an unprecedented data set on just how wealth is distributed.

"The world is marked by a very high level of income inequality and an extreme level of wealth inequality," the authors wrote.

The data serves as a complete rebuke of the trickle-down economic theory, which posits that cutting taxes on the rich will "trickle down" to those below, with the cuts eventually benefiting everyone. In America, trickle-down was exemplified by President Ronald Reagan's tax slashes. It's a theory that persists today, even though most research has shown that 50 years of tax cuts benefits the wealthy and worsens inequality.

The researchers are some of the leading minds on inequality in the entire field of economics. Chancel is the co-director of the World Inequality Lab, while Saez and Zucman have literally written a book on the rich dodging taxes and helped create wealth tax proposals for senators like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Piketty, who was Zucman's doctoral adviser, wrote the tome "Capital in the 21st Century" which used an unprecedented data set going back to the French Revolution to expose how centuries of growing wealth inequality was a feature of capitalism, not a bug. The World Inequality Report was his effort to do the same for recent history.

They argue in the new report that the last two decades of wealth data show that "inequality is a political choice, not an inevitability."

For instance, when it comes to wealth, which accounts for the values of assets people hold, researchers found that the "poorest half of the global population barely owns any wealth at all." That bottom half owns just 2% of total wealth. That means that the top half of the world holds 98% of the world's wealth, and that gets even more concentrated the wealthier you get.

Indeed, the richest 10% of the world's population hold 76%, or two-thirds of all wealth. That means the 517 million people who make up the top hold vastly more than the 2.5 billion who make up the bottom. The world's policy choices have led to wealth trickling up rather than down.

One group in particular has seen its share of global wealth swell.

Billionaires now hold a 3% share of global wealth, up from 1% in 1995

The report notes that "2020 marked the steepest increase in global billionaires' share of wealth on record." Broadly, the number of billionaires rose to a record-number in 2020, with Wealth-X finding that there are now over 3,000 members of the three-comma club.

Billionaire gains are a well-documented trend: The left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness found that Americans added $2.1 trillion to their wealth during the pandemic, a 70% increase.

So what could work better than the current system? As the authors note, there's been a renewed interest in taxing wealth during the pandemic: "It would be completely unreasonable not to ask more to top wealth-holders in the future, especially in light of the social, developmental and environmental challenges ahead."

For the authors, that means expanding wealth taxes like property taxes to all different types of wealth, and to make taxes progressive — meaning they increase with net worth. The US has seen proposals from leading progressives like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Ron Wyden that would respectively tax billionaire wealth outright, or tax the gains their assets see. But neither is moving forward.
https://www.businessinsider.com/how-bad ... ts-2021-12

Surprise, Surprise , Say it isn't so, But Ronnie Raygun promised us that it would trickle down and he would never lie. :sarcasm:

Another study, that shows what we already knew in our paychecks. Nothing will change here as long as the wealthy own the politicians.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: A huge study of 20 years of global wealth demolishes the myth of 'trickle-down'

Tried to explain to my Trumpie neighbor that right wing politicians use trickle down basically as a grift excuse to lower taxes. But that actual economist consider trickle down a complete joke, and no one has ever embraced ACTUAL supply side economics because it just doesn't work. The REAL economists who run our country have always stuck to a modified Keynesian model to run the country. Which explains why Reagan raised taxes 3-5 times (depending on what you call a tax increase), why Bush v. 1.0 bailed out S&L's, why Bush 2.0 bailed out investment banks, why Obama used stimulus, and why even Trump ran right back to Keynes when the shit hit the fan.

Finally, its why we don't leave matters of monetary policy to politicians.
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: A huge study of 20 years of global wealth demolishes the myth of 'trickle-down'

sikacz wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:05 pm Is it time for redistribution yet.....
Yes. Emphatically.

But people are suckers. Carpenter working on my house saw bumper stickers on my wife's car and had an argument with her about raising the minimum wage. He was against it. Told my wife that we couldn't afford everything we have, including some of his work, if wages went up.

Umm. That's kind of the point. But people fall for it.

My grandpa used to say, "Everyone's a big shot."

He meant everyone thinks they're just about to get rich or the only reason they're not rich is big government holding them down. Perversion of the American dream.

Re: A huge study of 20 years of global wealth demolishes the myth of 'trickle-down'

Not surprising, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. People vote against their own economic interests, 2016 and 2020 were examples.

China's leaders parade around in their Mao suits and talk about the "workers", but China has a lot of income inequality.
https://www.newstatesman.com/world/2021 ... ld-s-worst
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: A huge study of 20 years of global wealth demolishes the myth of 'trickle-down'

CD, it’s kinda what happened when workers simply refused to “get back to work” because of the pandemic. Prompting the ruling class to let slip their fears with statements like those of Elaine Chow...
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: A huge study of 20 years of global wealth demolishes the myth of 'trickle-down'

Here is a big challenge to governments.

The World Inequality Report 2022 reviews several policy options for redistributing wealth and investing in the future in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Table 1 presents revenue gains that would come from a modest progressive wealth tax on global multimillionaires. Given the large volume of wealth concentration, modest progressive taxes can generate significant revenues for governments. In our scenario, we find that 1.6% of global incomes could be generated and reinvested in education, health and the ecological transition. The report comes with an online simulator so that everybody can design their preferred wealth tax at the global level, or in their region.

If the gov's have the will, the rich can afford it.

They say that Cain caught Abel rollin' loaded dice
Ace of Spades behind his ear and him not thinkin' twice

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