When it comes to Davos, talk is cheap...

According to Sam Pizzigati from the Institute for Policy Studies, the millionaires at Davos can do a lot more than talk about global inequality. If the global business elites gathering in Switzerland really want to do something big, they should simply stop dodging their taxes.

In a recent study released by Oxfam International, as of 2010, 388 of the richest billionaires on earth owned as much wealth as the poorest half of the world's population.

By last year, the top 62 billionaires matched the wealth of half the planet. Yes, you heard that right - sixty-two individuals own as much as 3.6 billion people.

Together, our global top one percent has more net worth than the rest of the world combined. And, all those billionaires are hiding a heck of a lot of cash in offshore tax havens.

According to Oxfam's researchers, the wealthy elite have $7.6 trillion dollars stashed offshore, and the rich and powerful people meeting in Davos have the power to do something about that.

As Sam wrote in his article, "Those corporate CEOs sashaying around Davos, in other words, could with some simple executive orders put a huge dent on a global system of tax avoidance.”

Oxfam says that depriving countries that much needed tax revenue, “denies poor countries the resources they need to tackle poverty, put children in school, and prevent their citizens dying from easily curable diseases.” But, Sam says, “Don't hold your breath.”

He knows that the people meeting in Davos who have the power to change the system are the same people who rigged the system to begin with. The only way to fight inequality is to force them to pay their fare share.


awkword-o's picture
awkword-o 7 years 19 weeks ago

I think it's time for us to start reconsidering exactly what it means to be human. We claim that our self-awareness and superior intelligence compared to the rest of the animal kindgodm makes us more "special," or supposedly more compassionate for our fellow human and for other species of living creatures. I don't see it. These billionaires that control the world's economy are actually less humane than most animals one would encounter in the wild. Many, if not most, politicians are less humane. Corporations are the exact opposite of humane. America's police force is less humane than most animals. One could argue that dolphins are consistently more humane than most humans. One might even aruge they are smarter than the average person! So if "superior" intelligence, compassion, empathy, self-awareness...If these things don't distinguish us from the rest of life on earth, what exactly does? What does it really mean to be human?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 19 weeks ago

"Sixty- two individuals own as much as 3.6 billion people" ....in 2016!

I wonder how many of the 3.6 billion live in poverty? I'm willing to bet this concern doesn't cross the minds of the 62 individuals. What would Jesus think?

What would Jesus think about Falwell Jr. and Liberty University endorsing a billionaire bigot, a bigot who treats and goes through women like Henry the VIII????

Bottom line is, if we had good government, we wouldn't be dealing/suffering with individuals who equate ill-gotten wealth with an arbitrary right to rule.

Jussmartenuf's picture
Jussmartenuf 7 years 19 weeks ago

You are so right, Tom, but who is going to hold the billionaires to it? Bernie is my man but i doubt he can overcome a legislative branch packed with know and do nothings elected by the likes of Kochs, Dimons and Murdochs. The revolution in thinking is upon us and growing except for the low information folks that buy the swill they are fed by the media. The media is a special interest group itself, feeding from the trough of dollars the election system creates. It is a self perpetuating spiral.

cccccttttt 7 years 19 weeks ago

Companies owe allegiance to no country.

If you want to see that 7.7 trillion come rolling into the US, then reduce the

corporate tax rates somewhere below 10%.


2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 19 weeks ago

The effective corporate tax rate already stands at 0% for many of the big operators, and hovers near 10% for the average company.

Corporate Fascists own the souls of 3/4's of our Legislative and Judicial branch employees, thus "We the People," owe no allegiance to what in essence is a Fascist regime!

charlesinmonterey's picture
charlesinmonterey 7 years 19 weeks ago

Electing Bernie Sanders is a step in overthrowing fascist rule.

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 7 years 19 weeks ago

Transparency could change so much of our dysfunctional world especially applied to the monetary system .Knowledge is power so a select few control vast wealth and resources .The more visible and transparent a system is ,the more decentralised and localised it can become and the better it is for the people .Producing greater freedom ,less dependence and a higher quality of life for everyone .Creating wealth and sharing the wealth has to be the goal of the economy not manufacturing poverty with the tools of greed .Hoarding astronomical amounts of money and making a system work for so few individuals .

We could make every single monetary transaction open to public scrutiny ,nothing breeds appropriate behaviour faster than the light of public scrutiny .Imagine knowing how the richest billionaires gained there vast wealth ,how much they made every day how and where and by whom .Would this not change everything ....Follow the Money is also the key to halting Climate Change .No one would put up with this ! We Are all being played like a fiddle .

People of power do not want you to know how they have accumulated there wealth and how they use it to create more .They certainly do not want visible transparent system as most people hide what they are ashamed off .Tell me why this wouldn't work .Its time for the tables to turn .Tranparency is another name for the truth .The truth shall set us free as had been said many times .Profit survival mentality does not have to be the norm anymore !

The illusion of seperation causes human beings to act in ways that go against its own higher interest .When we decide that this is the cause of our downfall everything will change .The resources of our planet belong to all of us it's crazy and nonsensical for individuals to claim ownership over the planets natural resources .Surely they belong to humanity to be used as common holdings for the highest benefit of all humankind .

Time to move from a primitive society to a more enlightened one that's what Thom is trying to do .He is helping us all get there but we need to wake each other up before things get really bad for most folks as if there not bad enough ? But it doesn't have to be this way .

A call for transparency is a start what are we afraid off .

Follow the money folks ....

reg meyer's picture
reg meyer 7 years 19 weeks ago

Thom, please research the facts of Hillary's rumored trip to the Bilderberger Conference in 2012. Also last year's attendence by Bob Rubin, surely well-able to speak for and be the ears for the Clintons. And please stop repeating the canard that Hillary's platform is so like Bernie's as to make her an equally good candidate. You ignore the fact that Bernie will strive to enact the laws according to his long-held principles, while Hillary will say and do anything the masters of Davos tell her to. She is a slave to ambition who will strive to protect the interests of the ruling class, only trotting out her calculated and fake liberal conscience for the cameras. She will not act on principles because she has none..a lifetime of deceit. See Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's "The Secret Life of Bill Clinton" & Terry Reed's "Compromised"..she was right in the middle of the nexus of the Worthen Bank, the Rose Law Firm, Ollie North's CIA cocaine and laundering ring, Arkansas Development and Finance Authority, a Dixie Mafia candy store,skimming and handing out cash thru the criminal Lasater & Co., the looting and bankrupting of First American Savings & Loan, all handled by lawyers HRC, Vince Foster, and Webb Hubbell, often covering the illegal machinations of Seth Ward, Webb's father-in-law, whose POM Corp. Manufactured the replacement receiver-sections (with no serial numbers) on the M-16s for the Salvadoran death squads. The list goes on and on. The difference between her and Bernie's campaign? ..Bernie's will win because it's real, her's will lose because it's fake..all smoke & mirrors. Faint hearts who are scared GOP crazies might win take note..she is a sure loser. Bernie is the real thing, a sure winner.

greenteapg's picture
greenteapg 7 years 19 weeks ago

Tom - Thank you for all you do. I've learned so much about how government and banks work from you. Tom, can you or someone here on the site address how best to manage and protect ourselves when the Derivatives Bubble pops. I understand the economic global collapse believers and would like a less scaredy cat view. My belief is that an opportunity will arise for needed change and that the sun will shine again; I would like ot hear some ideas on how to Manage During this time. Thanks much.

rocketman1701's picture
rocketman1701 7 years 19 weeks ago

This is very sad, because there is very little we can do, that will affect big change.

Keith Weborg Sr.'s picture
Keith Weborg Sr. 7 years 19 weeks ago

The average CEO pay is $5 Million plus. The President gets $400,000, The VP gets $230,700, Congress $174,000, Chief Justice SCOTUS $258,100. Is there something wrong here??? Perhaps we should award bonusses to the president for Creating Jobs and other things. like they do in the U.S. Corporations. However, Corporate Officers earn their bonusses by creating corporate profits for their shareholders in many cases by firing workers or restricting their salaries and benefits. Jamie Diamond Just took a $27 million pay package, a 35% increase in componsation. For what? Taking corporate welfare from the US Taxpayers? And that compensation does not include the dividends and capital gains on stock awards from previous years. Many of the Corporate Officers hold 100.s of thousands of shares of the company that they work at. Many times this compensation is awarded even when they screw up the company, like Leo Apoteker took millions as he exited HPQ following the screwup of Carley Fiorina who also exited with many millions. Is there no justice???? Perhaps the US Government needs to set corporate law. After all, they have to be legally incorporated.

Keith Weborg Sr.'s picture
Keith Weborg Sr. 7 years 19 weeks ago

I would bet that that great? Christian Pat Robertson "Billionaire" doesn't give a damn either.

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