Before reading so many distributist polemics, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the statistics found in this article. But now they are very striking:
- The richest 2% own half the world’s assets, while the poorer half own only 1% of the worlds’ assets.
- Almost 90 percent of the world’s wealth is concentrated in North America, Europe, and high-income Asian and Pacific countries (remember Hilaire Belloc’s observation that while free trade will maximize the economic benefit within a particular region, it allows great imbalances within the region).
- To be in the richest 1% you need $500,000 or more in assets, which I think is much less than financial planners recommend for a “comfortable” retirement.