Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.

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Eighty-five richest people as wealthy as poorest half… who cares?

Dateline: León, Nicaragua

Granada is a bustling university town with a charming town square and an ongoing rush of tourists.

After Nicaraguan independence, the university elites of Granada and the lesser-preserved León fought over which city should be the newly sovereign nation’s capital.

León, dominated by the liberal elites, almost became the capital; but the conservative-dominated city of Granada also made a push against what they saw as an elitist power grab. Ultimately, however, the fighting ended when the much less touristy Managua was made the capital.

Each side came together for a common purpose of uniting their country. While I’m an individualist rather than a proponent of “society”, I do appreciate people sharing similar values and coming together for a common purpose.

Unfortunately, the common purpose bringing people in the USA and much of the west together is a sense of class hatred against the successful.

And unlike the “Option C” chosen to satisfy Nicaragua’s warring academic elites, I believe the class warfare in the west will have a much more binary outcome.

Recently, the anti-poverty group Oxfam released a report with an agenda. The report suggested that the world’s eighty-five richest people are, combined, as rich as the entire bottom half of everyone on the planet.

Of course, the western media is buzzing over the study. They would buzz over anything that cast “the evil rich” in a negative light. Reporters are already hard at work digging up stories of how people around the world believe successful people have too much power.

Now, it always fascinates me how these reporters — or the people they’re interviewing — never seem to mention the government as the source of their problems. After all, without The State and its mandates enforced at gunpoint, the type of crony capitalism the average hate-the-rich westerner associates with all wealthy people wouldn’t exist.

Where do they think Russian oligarchs got the money to buy 500-foot yachts? From connections in the government, of course.

Why no one ever says “the government is evil for propping these people up” is beyond me.

Why people really hate the 1%

Hating the rich is en vogue in the western world. It has been ever since Americans’ ability to buy jet skis and granite countertops with “the house’s money” vanished, and forced them to live within their means.

But just what is the point of comparing eighty-five rich people to the world’s poorest half?

The point is further class warfare and justification for more socialism, more wealth distribution, and more wealth confiscation.

As I explained in a speech recently, the target is always the guy at the top. These days they call it “the 1%”. But as a desperate citizenry realizes that their government can’t improve their lives merely by confiscating wealth from the 1%, the citizenry will demand more.

So much so that even if you’re not in the 1%, you’ll eventually be targeted if you have so much as a penny to your name. One only needs to study the history of Central America, where I am now, to understand how anyone of means was a target for bloody, oppressive governments dedicated to “working for the people” – even if that meant killing a bunch of people and making sure NO ONE was left with a penny to their name.

In a vacuum, the idea that eighty-five people control a lot of the world’s wealth is meaningless. As a statistic, it’s nothing more than another fact.

The issue being discussed here isn’t whether half of the world goes to bed starving each night, or whether they have adequate roofing in their homes. The issue here is nothing more than faux compassion designed to encourage governments to “spread the wealth around”.

After all, a lot of things in life are similarly imbalanced. A single rakish celebrity has likely slept with more women alone than a million inexperienced men. Does that mean all men not bedding a new, would-be starlet every night should feel rage and envy?

That’s how statistics work: one guy at the top has a large quantity of whatever is being discussed. That’s why he’s at the top.

In an emotional world where people are scared because they can’t find a job or get ahead, wealth “inequality” is an easy tool for governments to use to justify their wealth confiscation tactics.

What will actually help the poorest half?

Not long ago, the International Monetary Fund suggested the USA’s top tax bracket should be 71%. They pointed to the fact that all of the wars, the welfare goodies, and the ambitions for national health care are going to cost a lot of money. And it should be “the rich” that pay.

Unlike the elites in Nicaragua, there will be no compromise. Americans have made their voice clear when it comes to whose opinion of “the rich” they favor the most.

If you have any assets in the United States at all, there will come a time when they are all totally unsafe on American soil. The propaganda is just beginning.

As someone who spends much of his time in the developing world, I can tell you the armchair charity types don’t know what they’re talking about. In fact, for people who claim that money is evil, they hold an ironic allegiance to it.

Driving through rural Nicaragua this past week, I saw the same thing I see in countries around the world. Happy families and children playing, socializing with each other, and doing business. While there is certainly poverty in the world – and it is tragic – the idea that everyone who falls into the “poorest half” of people is some tragic malcontent is a load of rubbish.

While these people may not have three flat screen TVs (although you’ll see a lot more flat screen TVs than you’d expect in these places), they’re not all sitting around complaining about how Bill Gates and Carlos Slim are holding them back.

I’ve been to factories in places like Cambodia, where workers are happy to have a job. Not only does a wage of $80 a month provide food, shelter, and clothing in the outer city areas where factory workers live, but such factories have also provided opportunities to victims of human trafficking, many of whom were sold into slavery by their own desperate parents after the government went mad in the 1970s.

People in the developing world don’t have much use for the clueless American socialists or their crocodile tears. In fact, many realize that they’ll have the last laugh. While economies in the west are growing at sluggish rates, even by government statistics, economies in this part of the world are growing at a rapid clip.

Groups like Oxfam need to pump out the propaganda to maintain their relevance and make sure big, bloated governments have plenty of stolen tax money to dole out to their cause. As they see it, the more money The State can take from rich people, the more money they can use to line their own pockets.

There has never been a better driver of prosperity for all than true, unfettered capitalism. Get the unholy alliance of government market manipulation and do-nothing propagandists like Oxfam out of the way and let capitalism run its course.

As I’ve seen all around the world, real capitalism works. The much pitied “poorest half” is becoming less poor thanks to capitalism and economic freedom. The eighty-five richest people are making investments in economies that treat them well, which includes many developing countries that realize that such investment (not mindless griping) is needed.

Do I care that eighty-five people have a lot of money? Not in the slightest. I guess that’s because I don’t want to steal any of it.

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