Monday, January 25, 2016

“The wealth of 62 richest equals that of 3.6 billion poorest” That‘s a deviously false odiously divisive argument.

I come from Venezuela where I have seen a discourse full of hatred, carried out by those who want to profit financially or politically from promoting redistribution, destroy a country. I cannot sit back and see the Venezuelan tragedy reenacted on a global scale.

As always in all useful lies there are traces of truth. Of course the market value of the possessions of the 62 richest, especially after being inflated by means of fiscal deficits bailouts and QEs, could be similar to that of the market value of the possessions of the world’s 3.6 billion poorest. 

But, what does that mean when there is no way to liquidate the possessions of the rich in the market, so as to be able to transfer a similar amount of wealth to the poor. What on earth does a $25 million dollar penthouse in New York, which only some equally wealthy can buy, signify to the poor in terms of access to a better life?

And what's to be gained from the wealthy selling all their Picasso's and the Picasso's losing a lot of value? How do you morph a $200 million Picasso hanging on a wall of a wealthy into real purchasing power for the poor?

So if we are to analyze wealth inequality with intellectual honesty in any concrete applicable way, we should refer exclusively to the inequality that exists in transferable wealth. 

And, besides that, I swear that, in years of life lived, air breathed, water drunk, land trampled, food eaten, laughs and tears shed, those 3.6 billion poor posses at least a billion more times than those 62 most wealthy.

And this does not mean I do not commiserate with the poor of the world, and would not like them to have much more resources available in order to diminish their hardships. I do so very much, and that is precisely why I insist that what we must do, is to analyze what type of interventions help to generate the existing inequalities, and what blocks the opportunities for the poor to reach up. And on that route, one of the most important steps is keeping the redistribution profiteers at distance.

And this does not mean I am against redistribution. In fact before we are able to enable the opportunities that can lead to a sustainable betterment for the poor, I accept the need of redistribution, even if that is clearly less sustainable. But, that redistribution should take place in the most direct and cost effective way among citizens… again with the least interference possible by redistribution profiteers.

In my Venezuela that starts by sharing out its oil revenues directly to the citizens so as to avoid these falling into the hands of redistribution profiteers like Hugo Chávez.

And again, much more important for the poor than having wealth redistributed, is the generation of more wealth for them, which can only happen by enabling their access to opportunities. 

And for the health of our planet's sake...keep all those non-productive climate change profiteers out of the way. As I have often said, if the fight against climate change fall into the hands of something like our bank regulators...we're toast! If we really want to help on all fronts, let the fight against climate change go arm in arm with that of the fight inequality, by using Universal Basic Income.

Did poverty in the world decrease over the last decades because the world redistributed wealth, or embraced the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), or because many (like China) allowed their citizens more opportunities to generate wealth?

"Panama Papers" Don't let redistribution agitation profiteers raise your expectations.