Thursday, 31 March 2011

UK wealth and assets distribution

This report summary, from (UK) National Statistics, might be from 2006/2008, but it is still very interesting. It would be very interesting to read the summary of the results of a survey taken today and compare it.

Cathartic reading, if you are someone who believes we are right now living through an unfolding financial wealth[1] implosion. Which I happen to, in case you haven't realised by now.

If you look at the distribution of financial wealth — within which I would, personally, say personal pension wealth was a subcategory rather than alternative main category — we see extraordinary divergence. In a financial system collapse — a collective realisation that if you hold paper "financial investment promises" then you don't have anything real — and a consequent growing collective rush to dispose of these promises for actual, real physical wealth — which is what we are seeing gather pace today — then I find this, as I say, cathartic.

The bottom 50% of society already owned more than half of the "physical wealth"[2] in 2006/2008, according to the Gini coefficient given in this report. If "the rich"[3] are going to see their financial wealth collapse, then society will return to a far more equitable balance.

So, the way I see it, this unfolding financial collapse that is gathering pace as I write, is the manifestation of justice. A return to the real world — the world of the past, where you only got ahead if you worked and lived below your means, and not by making promises to others that you cannot possible repay. The world where you only considered yourself to have wealth if you could touch it, if it actually existed. If it was physical wealth. An asset, rather someone else's liability to you.

Who will be the overall "winners" in this return to justice? "The rich"? Methinks not. If you hold other people's liabilities as your wealth... get out now — beat the final stampede as everyone wakes up to reality. There don't have to be winners and losers in any financial system, only in this one.

[1] Financial wealth: "conceptual", "unreal", or "paper promises" — something that doesn't really exist, but you are promised you can have it some day.

[2] Physical wealth: actual, real things, that really exist in the world.

[3] "The rich": particularly "bankers", who are the ultimate financial parasites, but also including "speculators" of all stripes, who also suck the lifeblood from everyone around them in the world, in their quest to get ahead in a non-zero-sum system.

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