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Wealth inequality — Michael Roberts

Summary:
Wealth inequality, real and financial, dwarfs income inequality.But as I have argued before, real wealth concentration is about the ownership of productive capital, the means of production and finance. It’s big capital (finance and business) that controls the investment, employment and financial decisions of the world. A dominant core of 147 firms through interlocking stakes in others together control 40% of the wealth in the global network according to the Swiss Institute of Technology. A total of 737 companies control 80% of it all.This is the inequality that matters for the functioning of capitalism – the concentrated power of capital. And because inequality of wealth stems from the concentration of the means of production and finance in the hands of a few; and because that ownership

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 Wealth inequality, real and financial, dwarfs income inequality.

But as I have argued before, real wealth concentration is about the ownership of productive capital, the means of production and finance. It’s big capital (finance and business) that controls the investment, employment and financial decisions of the world. A dominant core of 147 firms through interlocking stakes in others together control 40% of the wealth in the global network according to the Swiss Institute of Technology. A total of 737 companies control 80% of it all.

This is the inequality that matters for the functioning of capitalism – the concentrated power of capital. And because inequality of wealth stems from the concentration of the means of production and finance in the hands of a few; and because that ownership structure remains untouched, any increased taxes on wealth will fall short of irreversibly changing the distribution of wealth and income in modern societies.

There is no solution in the capitalistic system. The system is designed fundamentally, just as feudalism was. Actually addressing wealth inequality to obviate asymmetry of power to save democracy requires a new system. If this new system is a liberal one, then social, political and economic liberalism need to be integrate instead of social and political liberalism being subordinated to economic liberalism, whether classical economic liberalism (laissez-faire) or neoliberalism (dominance of economic liberalism over social and political liberalism). How likely is control of the levers of power shifting without revolution?

Michael Roberts Blog — blogging from a marxist economist
Wealth inequality
Michael Roberts

See also
The welfare state wasn’t created by enlightened dialogue or “sensible” moderate politics. It was a concession won by workers against bosses through decades of struggle.
Jacobin
Class Struggle Built the Welfare State
Asbjørn Wahl
Mike Norman
Mike Norman is an economist and veteran trader whose career has spanned over 30 years on Wall Street. He is a former member and trader on the CME, NYMEX, COMEX and NYFE and he managed money for one of the largest hedge funds and ran a prop trading desk for Credit Suisse.

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