Although statistics were not available for larger percentages of the population for each country in the study, another even more startling picture emerged from the data that was available. That data is shown below.

The shocking truth is that the poorest 50% of the citizens of Western societies share little more than the elite's table scraps, with the evidence pointing to often even less than 5% of the total wealth.

The New York Times reported that a recent study found the top 1% have increased their share to about 35%, whereas the share of wealth COLLECTIVELY belonging to the bottom 90 % had dropped to about 34%!! However, a similar study carried out by the University of Michigan estimated the richest 1% now own 50%, and the bottom 90% get to share only a meager 16% of the nation's total wealth!! This latter study translates into the fact that the top 1% may now own three times as much as the bottom 90% own collectively!!
To make things worse, the rate at which the rich are getting richer and the poor get poorer, accelerating.

To help the reader appreciate that the economic problems discussed are by no means unique to America, we will briefly refer to Canada instead of America to continue the study. Canada provides a dramatic example of profit disappearing into the woodwork, or more accurately into the bank accounts of the richest one percent.

Canada (Another Typical Feudal Economy)

Being the largest country in the world, Canada has an enormous amount of natural resources. Her vast reserves of forests have been logged repeatedly. Her uranium resources have been tapped for nearly half a century. Much of her mineral resources have been extracted already, not to mention the Alberta oil wealth and the prairie wheat, and of course the untold fortunes of fish hauled off her East and West coasts. The country has an abundance of hydroelectric power, and exports nuclear technology. She has a thriving industrial base, and her resource of fresh water should soon become an unexpected gold mine. Incidentally, Canada has plenty of excellent gold mines, and untold amounts of nickel have been extracted as well. I could go on but it should be clear by now that Canada's vast resources have already been well exploited. A person from any 2nd or 3rd world country would expect our streets to be paved with gold, because Canada's population is only 25 million!

Instead, the prospect of owning a home is growing steadily more remote for many young people. You'd wonder why, because there exists such an abundance of forests. The truth of the matter is that Canadians have to pay world prices for the timber products. Not only that, the best timber is exported (to enrich the wealthy few), so the wood used inside Canadian homes is more often than not the dregs of the industry. Some young families with two incomes are even battling to afford an apartment. Many don't even own their own cars, and some have serious debts. Like gas stations, the local Macdonald's fast food outlets are never very far away. But very few Canadians are even aware that with 1100 charity food banks nationwide, Canada has twice as many food banks as Macdonalds fast food outlets!!

Plenty of people line up each week at special grocery handout centers that are often conveniently located off the main streets, where the long lineups won't interfere with pedestrians or traffic, and where this shameful show of wealth distribution won't be too readily observed. In the large cities there are plenty of people who sleep in doorways and parks, and can be seen pushing around their life's possessions in supermarket buggies. How is this possible? What has happened to the past profits generated in our Western countries?

Fortune magazine's 1988 list of the world's top 10 billionaires indicates that three of the 10 richest families in the world are Canadians. Furthermore, it indicates that Toronto's Reichmann family alone increased their wealth in the preceding year from 5 billion to 6.3 billion dollars, a staggering increase of 1.3 billion, which represents a 26 percent increase in assets during that one year period. {B33}

When the Queen of England, the world's richest female billionaire who has also derived wealth from Canada, is taken into consideration, then the number of the world's top ten billionaires who have directly exploited Canada's resources for their personal benefit increases to 4 out of 10.

And last but not least, we ought to give mention as well to another billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, of London England, who owns 2.5 million acres of North American timberland, which is just a half million acres less than the 3 million acres owned by the Canadian billionaire Kenneth Colin Irving. {B34} {B35}

Globally, the speed at which wealth and power is being concentrated in the hands of a very small minority of economic elite has intensified at an alarming rate. Does anyone need to hire a financial analyst to see a correlation between the wealth accumulated by billionaires, and the grocery handout centers and soup kitchens?

Keep in mind that the same story is being played out in all the other countries dominated by an economic elite. The bottom 90 percent are being systematically milked, and the cream is being skimmed off by the folks at the top. We need to take steps to homogenize the economic classes.

The inequities in wealth distribution that originally prompted the formation of trade unions are now being overlooked in the rush to say unions today have gotten too powerful and are demanding too much. Don't forget, it would still have taken 433,000 so called "greedy unionists" to have been able to save $3,000 each in 1987, to have collectively benefited as much as the Reichmann family.

Feudalism ...A Progress Report

In case there are any readers left who doubt that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer, information from the US Census Bureau should remove any doubt whatsoever. The following statistics bear mute witness to the feudal realities that have taken place during the 80's.

SINCE 1979, Reagan's pro-elite administration increased the inequities dramatically. The top 20% of the population increased their income by approximately 10%, while the bottom 20 % of the population saw their income decline by approximately 22%!!

The reality suggested by these statistics is so alarming, that it may for some even appear untrue. Because of this, some previously mentioned facts deserve being retold.

But despite all this, Mrs. Dole, Bush's Labor Secretary, is trying to introduce a compulsory six-month "training period" during which a "new hire" would receive a sub-minimum wage!! {B41}

{B33}"The Billionaires" Fortune (Sep 12 1988): p71
{B34}"The Billionaires" Fortune (Sep 12 1988): p98
{B35}"A wealth of billionaires" Forbes (Jul 24 1989): p126
{B36}"Plenty of workers are waiting in the wings" BusinessWeek (Mar 13 1989): p98
{B37}"White-collar bloat" Forbes (Oct 17 1988): p34
{B38}"Croesus Incorporated" The Economist (Feb 18 1989): p67
{B39}"In poverty's hard clutch, little chance to escape" Insight (Apr 3 1989): p9
{B40}"How we can win the war on poverty" Fortune (Apr 10 1989): p128
{B41}"Wages of politics" The Economist" (Mar 18 1989): p25