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Consequences of Differential Stock Ownership



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Consequences of Differential Stock Ownership

  • Corporations are answerable to their shareholders
  • Governments are answerable (at least in theory) to their citizens (either through elections or revolutions)

Maldistribution of wealth

  • The worldwide gap between rich and poor doubled between 1960 and 1990, and grew an additional 20% between 1990 and 1998, and continues to grow today
  • Gap is higher in the U.S. than in any other industrialized nation
    • Associated with 880,000 deaths per year over expected number if gap was same as in Western European nations
    • BMJ 2009;339:b4471

Worldwide statistical breakdown of wealth (2012)

  • Wealth over $2,138 = top 50%
  • Wealth over $61,000 = top 10%
  • Wealth over $510,000 = top 1%
  • Top 2% of individuals own more than 50% of global wealth
  • 34% of world’s wealth held in U.S. and Canada; 30% in Europe; 24% in wealthier Asian-Pacific countries; 12% in the rest of the world

The Walmart 1%

  • The 6 Walmart heirs control more wealth than the bottom 42% of Americans combined

Maldistribution of wealth

    • Less than 4% of the combined wealth of the 225 richest individuals in the world would pay for ongoing access to basic education, health care (including reproductive health care), adequate food, safe water, and adequate sanitation for all humans (UNDP)

Declaration of Independence

  • “All men are created equal.”

George Orwell

  • “Some people are more equal than others”

Hudson River, 2009

Maldistribution of Wealth/Resources Threatens National Security and Requires a Permanent War Economy

  • “The U.S. has about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. This situation cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity withoug positive detriment to our national security.”

Voltaire

  • “The comfort of the rich rests upon an abundance of the poor”

Primo Levi

  • “A country is considered the more civilized the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak or a powerful one too powerful.”

Thomas Jefferson

  • “Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours its own kind, for I can apply no milder term to … the general prey of the rich on the poor.”

Racial Disparities: Economic

  • Median income of black U.S. families as a percent of white U.S. families:
    • 60% in in 1968
    • 62% in 2002
    • 59% in 2010 (69% for Hispanic families)

Racial Disparities: Economic

  • Recession, housing crisis has hit black and Latino families harder than white families
    • 7.5% on Blacks live in substandard housing (vs. 2.8 % of Whites)
  • Educational disparities
  • Higher levels of unemployment

Racial Disparities: Economic

  • Criminal justice system involvement
  • Toxic waste sitings / environmental injustice / environmental racism
  • Persistent overt / subtle discrimination
    • E.g., “driving while black”

Racial Disparities in Health Care Coverage

  • Percent uninsured:
    • Whites = 7%
    • Asians = 8%
    • African-Americans = 11%
    • Hispanics = 16%
    • Undocumented immigrants = 40% (emergency care exception)
      • CA Proposition 189

Non-Citizens

  • 25 million non-citizens in U.S.
    • 40% lack health insurance, 2/3 lack source of non-emergency care (and many afraid to visit emergency rooms)
    • Children particularly affected

Undocumented Immigrants

  • 11-12 million individuals
  • 80% of these in labor force
      • Constitute 30-50% of agricultural and 20% of meat processing/food service workforce
  • 60% lack health insurance (emergency care exception)
    • CA Proposition 189

Racial Disparities: Health Care

  • Higher maternal and infant mortality
  • Higher death rates for most diseases
  • Shorter life expectancies
  • Less health insurance
  • Fewer diagnostic tests / therapeutic procedures

Health Disparities Among Latinos

  • Higher rates of:
    • Overweight and obesity
    • Certain cancers
    • Stroke
    • Diabetes
    • Asthma/COPD
    • Chronic liver disease/cirrhosis
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Homicide

Income Inequality Kills

  • Higher income inequality is associated with increased mortality at all per capita income levels
  • Equalizing the mortality rates of whites and African-Americans would have averted 686,202 deaths between 1991 and 2000
    • Whereas medical advances averted 176,633 deaths
      • AJPH 2004;94:2078-2081

Income Inequality

  • Lower life expectancy
  • Higher rates of infant and child mortality
  • 20 million deaths/yr worldwide
  • Short height
  • Poor self-reported health
  • AIDS

Income Inequality

  • Depression
  • Mental Illness
  • Obesity
  • Crime
  • Child abuse
  • Diminished trust in people and institutions
    • 2/3 of Americans trusted the government “most of the time” in 1966; 1/5 in 2016

Headline from The Onion

  • Scientists: Rich People, Poor People May Have Shared Common Ancestor


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