We’re not the 99%, we’re the top 10%

I was struck by the focus on relative wealth which seems to be all pervasive. Rich lists, executive pay, bankers bonuses. The ‘occupy’ protests with the mantra ‘we are the 99%’. Well, it’s all a matter of how you look at it. Yes, there’s an imbalance between the very wealthy and the rest, and between top and bottom income levels in the west; there’s greed and insensitivity, and there’s injustice. But, and this is a significant rider in my view, there is a more significant imbalance between most people in the UK, the US and other western countries and the bulk of the world’s population. Most of those protesting are likely to be in the top 10% by income, and probably by wealth as well – and we live in a world where the poorest are hardest hit by natural disasters, where the richest strike the most favourable deals, and where the UK government is criticised for protecting the aid budget on the grounds that we’re hard up. I have plenty of criticisms of the government but that is not one of them.

There’s nothing wrong with pointing out the injustices of our system but let’s remember the old saying about people in glass houses and make sure we do something about the 90% as well.

Tony Earnshaw

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