December 7th, 2006

The Richest of the Rich


Reuters has a story titled “Richest 2 pct own more than half the world: study”.

Two percent of adults have more than half of the world’s wealth, including property and financial assets, according to a study by the U.N. development research institute published on Tuesday.

Yeah, they’re called the “International Banking Families”… Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and a few more. They’re loaded, and highly conspiratorial. But I digress…

“We’ve estimated that the richest 2 percent of adults own more than half of global wealth, while the bottom half own 1 percent,” said institute director Anthony Shorrocks.

He likened the situation to that where, in a group of 10 people, one person has $99, while the remaining nine share $1.

“If you think income has been distributed unequally, wealth has been distributed even more unequally,” Shorrocks said.

This is incredible. Imagine what the world would be like if the top 2% of the world heeded Jacob’s call:

And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted. (Jacob 2:19)

I guess these people won’t be following such guidelines since they (well, the vast majority, I’m assuming) have yet to obtain “a hope in Christ”.

It’s amazing what the gospel does to a person’s behavior, desires, and countenance. People are nicer, more charitable, and less quick to judge when they are trying to emulate Christ. Can you imagine how our economy and industries would be stimulated if the top 2% helped the bottom 2% lift themselves out of the stagnant slums they and their ancestors have been stuck in for years? Can you imagine what good these riches could do in the world, rather than being hoarded up as they are?

Like the wicked servant, all of us will have to give an account of how we used our wealth. We are stewards over that which we’ve been blessed with. I think we’d all benefit by imagining ourselves before our Master, giving an account of our stewardship. Would we pass the test?

3 Responses to “The Richest of the Rich”

  1. Connor
    December 7, 2006 at 12:16 am #

    Related to this is the story of Warren Buffet giving away quite a large chunk of change.

    Part of the beef I have with humanitarian aid organizations is when the goods get into the wrong hands. Corrupt government officials with sticky fingers often prevent the goods from getting to the people who need them the most.

    I recall on my mission in Honduras buying clothes that had been sent by the Red Cross and other organizations, intended as charitable donations to be spread among the people. Instead, somebody took it for themselves and began selling the items to the very people they were intended for. Despicable.

  2. Naiah Earhart
    December 7, 2006 at 8:54 am #

    Hahaha, I once dated a Rockefeller grandson. Y’know what he did with his millions? Followed the Grateful Dead for two years! Ugh.

    You mention the corruption inherent in the assistance of those most in need, and that’s bothered me a lot over the years. Rob and I puzzle over what to donate to, and it just often seems like there is no good answer. We did the United Way for a couple of years, but I can only read about so many ‘gala evening’ parties being thrown by them before I go, “ok, I’m not sending any more money to them.”

    It shouldn’t be this hard to help people.

  3. Connor
    December 7, 2006 at 9:51 am #

    Rob and I puzzle over what to donate to, and it just often seems like there is no good answer.

    That’s why I love donating to the LDS Humanitarian fund. No overhead, and trustworthy people managing the money, all going to a great cause.

    A website of interest is Charity Navigator which reports the financials for several organizations. It’s a good resource to check out before donating your money to anybody.

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