If the world were 100 people, and all assets 100 M&Ms: experiencing the 1% owning more than all 99% combined

I wrote that Credit Suisse documents in Global Wealth Report 2015 that the world’s wealthiest 1% now own more assets than Earth’s 99% combined. Here’s a revealing 3-minute video from 2013 on the wealth transfer from “former” colonized countries to their “former” imperial masters:

… and just ‘cuz it’s 30-seconds, consider a moment more of who’s “developing” whom:

To visualize this pyramid of wealth inequality/poverty, imagine 100 people with a total of 100 M&Ms to be divided among them. This is the approximate wealth analogy reported by Bank Suisse:

  • 1 person has 50 M&Ms.
  • 7 people have 5 each.
  • 22 people have one half an M&M each.
  • 70 people have ~1/20th of an M&M; literally taking 3-4 M&Ms to smash, then dividing the tiny pieces among 70 people.

Please take a moment to feel what 70% of human beings have: a fragment of goods and services necessary for a fulfilled life.

Communicating to children? If you have a classroom of 33, the breakdown:

  • 1 person has 65 M&Ms.
  • 1 person has 20.
  • 7 people have one and one half an M&M each.
  • 24 people have ~1/20th of an M&M; literally taking 2 M&Ms to smash, then dividing the tiny pieces among 24 people.

For a classroom of 25:

  • 1 person has 70 M&Ms.
  • 1 person has 16.
  • 5 people have 2.5 M&Ms each.
  • 18 people have ~1/20th of an M&M; literally taking 1 M&M to smash, then dividing the tiny pieces among 18 people

How much human suffering does this material lust cause?

Immense suffering: 30,000 children die daily from preventable poverty, despite since 1969 these 1%-and-above wealth and political “leaders” of so-called “developed” and “former” colonial powers have promised to “end poverty once and for all, forever.”

The total poverty deaths since just 1995 are ~400 million; more than all wars and violent deaths in recorded human history.

Please also note that “inhumane acts intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily injury” is the legal definition of “Crimes against humanity.” Given several world summits for presidents, prime ministers, and royalty that all global poverty can be ended with provable and simple methods, and for less than 1% of developed nations’ income (appropriately less than 1% of profits extracted from areas suffering poverty during colonialism), and that the end of poverty has been promised at the highest levels of government multiple times only to be reneged, current policies that allow ongoing poverty-deaths are intentional and therefore criminal.

Importantly, please confirm these economic facts that what we receive for economic leadership is literal criminal fraud:

I could go on to literally ~100 areas of crucial concern.

We have known solutions:

The future, upon victory, will be unprecedentedly and unimaginably bright.

The path forward as we build a critical mass of humans recognizing the Emperor’s New Clothes truth is to demand arrests and solutions, obviously:

  1. ARRESTS: the first responsible action upon recognizing massive crimes that annually kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions is to demand that law enforcement and military enact arrests of criminal leaders to stop the crimes and begin unwinding the truth of what happened in Earth’s tragic-comedy (four-part article series with videos on arrests as the obvious citizen response).
  2. SOLUTIONS: the .01% with corporate media have suppressed solutions documented beginning with Benjamin Franklin how government can abundantly operate without taxes: monetary and credit reform allow the public to have near-instant prosperity: full-employment, zero public deficits and debt, the best infrastructure we can imagine, falling prices, and release of public TRILLIONS held in “rainy day” accounts. Full documentation here.

Oh, and given the data of poverty (“wealth inequality” is the .01%’s euphemism), take just one more minute to see how three former US Treasury Secretaries really feel about our poverty:


Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences. I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.


Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).


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  • diogenes

    While it may be true that the inequity in distribution of wealth between the “rich countries” and the “poor countries” is even more grossly inequitable than it is between the rich and the poor in the United States, it is also certainly true that among “rich countries” the inequity in the distribution of wealth is by far the worst in the United States, as well as all the social ills that go with it — including rates of murder, police killings, imprisonment, infant mortality, public health, mental health, social trust and cohesion, and man other measures of social failure. In view of this I have to question the motives of the creator of this video. Shouldn’t we focus on solving the horrible horror that has overcome our country — which we are in a position to address as citizens of our country — rather than wring our hands in essentially ineffectual sympathy about how bad the neighbors are said to have it? Why are we being encouraged to do otherwise? Is this a decoy operation or a bait-and-switch?

    • Carl_Herman

      uh, diogenes, I don’t think calling how the .01% got the money as “literal criminal fraud” and demanding arrests is wringing hands in ineffectual sympathy.

      Also, providing solutions that easily provide full-employment, pay the national debt, and upgrade infrastructure to the best we can imagine is a focus. You should invest some time to fully understand the power of those solutions, diogenes.

      And, the neighbors have it bad, real bad.

      • diogenes

        Carl, my comment addresses the tactic of the video with its attempt to shift discussion from our country’s situation to the global frame — and not your always informed and informing ongoing discussion.

        As the second video suggests, the “poor world’s” biggest problem is the predatory 0.1% of the “rich world” — who are also the biggest problem of the 99% in the “rich world” also. The best thing we can do in America to help the “poor world” is to take care of the problem we have at home by leashing the predators who have usurped the American economy and government from their pirate base on the island of Manhattan.

        • Carl_Herman

          Thank you, diogenes. I feel strongly that we keep up-front the need to do exactly what you say: recognize the financial predators based in the US as a criminal gang.

          They are soooo outside the law with fundamental fraud to call debt as its Orwellian opposite “money,” and rig every market they can to parasitize the 99.99% daily.

          • diogenes

            According to Bernake’s recent admission they’re also outside the law of fraud in more basic and flagrant ways and were given a free pass and a bail out by the combined efforts of the Bush-Obama administration — that is, the forces that pull the strings of both — that is, themselves.

          • Carl_Herman

            Yeah, that was an interesting half-assed admission by Bernanke. Maybe he’s hedging his bets 🙂

  • Cloward Piven

    The logical fallacy here is that “wealth” is a static phenomenon.

    Wealth is not static, it is dynamic.

    If somebody gives you a pile of money and you spend it all on Escalades and
    hoes, when the Escalades and hoes are gone you are right back where you
    started from.

    • Carl_Herman

      “If somebody gives you” is a lie, Cloward, when the documentation shows the money was looted. Allow me a test: you agree that the proper citizen response to these crimes of calling debt as “money,” and ongoing market rigging are massive crimes with annual trillions in damages, yes?

      You’re with us in demanding arrests, yes, Cloward?

    • Scott Klair

      Take into consideration the makeup of the US population:

      People QuickFacts

      Population, 2014 estimate 318,857,056

      Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base 308,758,105

      Population, percent change – April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014 3.3%

      Population, 2010 308,745,538

      Persons under 5 years, percent, 2014 6.2%

      Persons under 18 years, percent, 2014 23.1%

      Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2014 14.5%

      Female persons, percent, 2014 50.8%

      Black or African American alone, percent, 2014 (a) 13.2%

      American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, 2014 (a) 1.2%

      Asian alone, percent, 2014 (a) 5.4%

      Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, 2014 (a) 0.2%

      Two or More Races, percent, 2014 2.5%

      Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2014 (b) 17.4%

      White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2014 62.1%

      As Black people make up less than 15% of the US population, and whites well over 50%, your sentence has a much higher chance of being accurate if you replace Escalade with F-150 and Hoe with Stripper. Because anything in the US you want to bitch and moan about applies, in a much larger proportion, to the majority of the population. So, take your dog-whistle inaccuracies and replace them with the logical inputs. There are more white criminals, hookers, deadbeats, addicts, losers, moochers, scammers, takers, poor people, dumbasses, unemployed, on the dole . . . all of it.

      Who are you to pass judgement on how other people spend their money? The source of someone’s income isn’t relevant to what they decide to spend it on. In your “example” above there is no difference in outcome if you spend this magical gifted money pile on a piece-of-shit Ford Tempo and your wife of 15 years or a brand new Dodge with a Diesel Cummings and a 19 year old from the Crazy Horse. Without income, finite monetary resources deplete until they reach zero, and whether your transportation is nice or not, your companionship is long-term, sanctioned by the church or state, or in some other way more satisfactory for your needs, the details are a matter of opinion but the key points are the same.

  • Robert Barsocchini

    Fantastic finds and information, Carl.