“Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.“
This is a House of Rothschilds maxim, widely attributed to banking tycoon Mayer Amschel Rothschild in 1838 and said to be a founding principle for the highly corrupt banking and political system we have today. Along with the Rockefellers, the Rothschild dynasty is estimated to be worth well over a trillion dollars. How are these powerful families linked to the ongoing crisis of global wealth inequality, why are so many people unaware of their existence, and why doesn’t Forbes ever mention them in their annual list of the world’s wealthiest people?
Global wealth inequality is out of control, and it’s no accident
In January 2014, Oxfam announced that the richest 85 people on the planet share a combined wealth of $110 trillion. The figure was based on Forbes’s rich list 2013, and it equates to 65 times the total wealth of the entire bottom half (3.5 billion) of the world’s population. While some deluded commentators welcomed this as “fantastic news,” the rest of us were disgusted. Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s executive director, said at the time: “It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world’s population own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus.”
Two months later, following Oxfam’s calculation and having published the new 2014 rich list, Forbes journalist Kasia Morena did some fact-checking. She found that the number of billionaires owning the same as the poorest 3.5 billion had dropped from 85 to 67: which demonstrates an enormous widening of the global inequality gap in just one year.
Fast-forward to 2015, and another Oxfam investigation. The anti-poverty charity warned in January that if nothing is done to tackle global wealth inequality- by forcing corporations to pay their taxes and closing off-shore tax havens, for example- the richest 1% will own more than everybody else in the world combined by 2016. In a paper called Wealth: Having it all and wanting more, Oxfam outlined how the richest 1 percent have seen their share of global wealth increase from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014, and will likely surpass 50% in 2016. Winnie Byanyima again warned that the explosion in inequality is holding back the fight against global poverty at a time when one in nine people do not have enough to eat, and more than a billion people still live on less than $1.25 a day.