A shantytown in São Paulo, Brazil, borders the much more affluent Morumbi district. Tuca Vieira / Oxfam

Billionaires Rising: The Economic Impact of a Global Concentration of Wealth

Among Bloomberg’s many profitable activities is a convenient Bloomberg Billionaires Index that has just published its findings for 2017. It covers only the 500 richest people, and it proudly announces that they have increased their wealth by 1 trillion dollars in just one year. Their fortunes went up by 23% to top comfortable 5 trillion dollars (to put this in perspective, the US budget is now at 3.7 trillion). That obviously means an equivalent reduction for the rest of the population, which lost those trillion dollars.

US President Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Photo: Reuters

Why Chaotic Uncertainty Reigns in Today’s World-System

Wild swings are the daily bread and butter of a structural crisis. This means that we shall live in chaotic uncertainty until the structural crisis is resolved in favor of one of the two prongs of the bifurcation. We need to concentrate our analyses and our actions on what makes it more likely that the progressive side of the bifurcation outweighs the reactionary side in the middle-term resolution of the struggle.