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Global Wealth Inequality–What You Never Knew You Never Knew

The Rules (TR) started in 2012 looking at “why mass poverty still exists on a world of such plenty.” They represent a collective of organizers and activists that aim to address the root causes of inequality. This video was made in 2013 to address what global wealth inequality looks like, and in the description of the video it is noted that the numbers are no longer accurate, that wealth disparity has only increased since the video was made. The video starts by addressing that while much of the focus on wealth inequality looks at the U.S., things are even worse for the planet as a whole. In 2013, 80% of the world’s people have 6% of the world’s wealth, and 1% of the world have over 43% of the world’s wealth. The richest 300 people in 2011 had the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3,000,000,000. The video notes, that wealth geographically follows colonial and imperial histories, with the Global North being 80x richer than the Global South in 2013. These rich countries try to address this through aid practices, but when combined with tax avoidance, debt service, exploitation through trade rules, rich countries actually make $2 trillion off of poor countries. The video ends by saying our only hope to addressing this, is to change the rules.

discussion

What key points are made in the video about wealth inequality about the US compared to the rest of the world?

The video uses data from the United Nations to tell its story. It also uses infographics to make comparisons. How and why does the video use infographics to illustrate its argument?

What are the everyday implications of global inequality on the majority of the world, according to the video? What critiques around international aid does the video make?

How does this knowledge of global inequality make you feel? Have you ever seen evidence of this kind of inequality in or outside of the U.S.?