Inequality: How Wealth Becomes Power

2018, Economics  -   12 Comments
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Ratings: 6.39/10 from 33 users.

Wealth inequality is an issue throughout much of the world. Its prominence is particularly troubling in one of the wealthiest countries - Germany - as the divide between the rich and the poverty-stricken is rapidly deepening. The astute documentary Inequality: How Wealth Becomes Power examines the possible explanations for this widening gap.

Which factors might come into play when assessing why some attain tremendous wealth and influence while others continuously struggle to keep their head above the poverty line. Does it speak to a person's upbringing or work ethic? Is the system stacked against them somehow? The film highlights not only statistical data related to the poor, but rarely examined data on the rise of the elite as well.

Christoph Groner came from relatively modest means. Working as a young man in construction, he seized an opportunity to invest in an ebbing real estate market. Once the market rebounded, however, he profited handsomely and became one of the most prosperous developers in the country. His apartments and other residential buildings are overwhelmingly occupied by wealthy outsiders. The actual residents who have long lived in any given German city are increasingly priced out of his properties.

Groner defends his position as perfectly legal, and dismisses the distance between his status and the plight of the poor as an unfair comparison. Other subjects in the film follow suit, including those who have accumulated their wealth by means of centuries-old inheritance. Still, it's hard to defend a system where money only produces more money for the wealthy, but fails to work for the lower classes who haven’t seen a wage increase in decades.

The vast majority of income gains have flooded in for those who are already on the upper echelon of the economic ladder. The middle class has officially shrunk. It's a dynamic that has spread all across the world, especially in the face of increased globalization.

Inequality: How Wealth Becomes Power features insights from a team of esteemed economic researchers who all diagnose a depraved system and prescribe a long-overdue societal reckoning. What kind of society do we want to be? In their view, a continuation of the inequality trend is both untenable and inhumane.

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12 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Antisandman

    There are less than 3,000 billionaires listed on Forbes. There are probably 4,000 not listed on Forbes. They control the world's economies. What this movie showed but did little to explain is that it is not about money. It is about control. They are the banksters so they can produce almost infinite amounts of money digitally. True wealth is in land, resources and labor. Land and resources cannot not be created digitally. Labor can increase exponentially or be replaced digitally or by robots.
    Those forests that were discussed are not just land and lumber but also fresh water which will be the most precious resource eventually. The .000001% know that and are busy acquiring as much as possible. The forest in Uruguay is over the Guarani Aquifer, the largest reservoir in the world. Like all dynasties, they are looking long term. The forest in Finland makes a current profit of over 10%. That means it will double its value every five years or less. That is how inequality grows. No family doubles every 5 years. That wealth comes from unproductive financial manipulation. The entrepreneur featured has already basically enslaved his employees by tying the future of the company to banksters. In today's world banksters own almost all the financial and productive endeavors. The end game is to turn us back into serfs. They after all are the inheritors of the devine right of royalty and among them are the old royalty of Europe.
    Colbert Report: How Big Oil Conquered the World. on Youtube

  2. J Miller

    I look at these rich who's whole life revolves around money and I just laugh. For me this video is like watching some really silly weird cartoon about a species that is basically crazy and goofy but think they are really something special. I have money but I'd honestly rather live in a teepee as a hunter gatherer on the plains of Norther America long before the whites (my clan) showed up. Life would have lots of risks and I could easily die in my early adulthood from many things. That would be fine. I'd much rather do that than be very rich here and live to be 100. This modern world is comical to me. Comical or really sad and depressing. Lot's of confused people suffering without any of what I would call freedoms. I'm lucky in a way. I'll never worry about money. I have plenty to live out my life in fine style. However I think this way of living is pretty pointless. I'll not have myself treated when disease overtakes me. Instead I'll use palliative measures to reduce the pain and then just die. Then I'll have money to leave to some friends and animal rescues instead of desperately throwing all my money away trying to get one more minute of living a life I don't really consider worth the effort. Whoever gets that money will be able to have a better existence in this mess. For them it will seem worth it. Not my problem. I'll have moved on. Hopefully to something more interesting and challenging.

  3. Haidu

    I beg a pardon, my English is very poor, I wish to say my opinion, I was born on 25 January 1960, an Aquarius, 30 years under Communism, from 1990 change regime, 30 years under "liberal capitalist democracy", I was long distance swimmer long distance runner autonomous diver with Rock Jazz and Blues, I'm from Constanta, Romania. You know, from the Beginning, the World is not honest and altruistic and those who lead the World and others are greed, corrupt, criminals profilers, anyway the life, the "game" it's not fair, I'm not refering to ideology, it's about basic instincts, psychological behaviour, lies, cheats, for example in communism and from 1990 "change regime" the ruling class is not honest and altruistic but steal billions and billions of euro from the National Budget and from everywhere, violate human rights and destroy people's live by crimes and abuse of power by the "state authorities" and "they" are very rich, are multimillionaire. After 60 years, two different social - economical Sistem it's the same problem, DNA, psychological behaviour, predators versus victims, you know, greed, corruption versus honests and altruists. Conclusion is very simply, the World is not lead by meritocracy and the ruling class is not honest and altruistic, are against human rights, against freedom, against the humans. I was very good in my activities, but the ruling class steal billions and billions of euro from the National Budget and from 1990 I was destroyed completely irreversible social - economical, the Judicial Sistem is the most corrupt, in "liberal capitalist democracy" I was destroyed by crimes and abuse of power by the Judicial Sistem and by the State Authorities, "they" denied my basic human rights, I'm down and out, the right of asylum for political reasons in E.U. is dead, everywhere the Autorities use discretionary power and abuse of power,...."do not ask your rights, instead of justice you'll receive a bullet in fronthead",...I want nothing for myself, the "game" is not fair, by crimes and abuse of power by the State Authorities, "they" push me out, no citizenship, no membership, "they" push me to suicide, I stay alone in a little room without social - economical life, I wait to die, I'll see,

    1. JP

      Haidu, Please don't give up! God loves you and has a great plan for you. The greed and corruption of others cannot change this. Do not give up. Keep looking for help until someone does help you.

  4. Geo

    How is inequality the most pressing social problem? There NEVER has been equality.
    Sounds like planting seeds for Socialism. The Globalist "elite" (cough) socialist communist progressive corporatist fascists have had the same plan since Cecil Rhodes time (pre WW1).
    1. Use war to change society
    2. Accumulate the majority of wealth into their control.
    Ref: Corbett Report WW1
    So a LOT of the wealth goes into unproductive endeavors such as making cannons and cannon fodder, War funding DEBT, interest on the War Debt, war premium on Petroleum, etc.
    Besides the direct taxes, wealth is also confiscated via inflation and deflation: Steal your labor by making what they give you for it, fiat currency, worth less. Then devalue what you bought with it. What happens when the bottom falls out of the high priced real estate market, on purpose? Deflation.

    This of course occurs faster through incremental Socialism, which has and is occurring throughout the so called western "democracies"; which are actually rising Socialism, waning Capitalism; until 2016 when several countries revolted against the goose march towards Socialism the Bankster + elites have been pushing us into.
    Of course the change agent minions and useful idiots blame all these and other ills of Socialism on Capitalism and indoctrinate the populous to that end via the major media that they own/control along with funding University Professorships to the same end.

    Do you really think these money and power vacuumers will just let the price they charge for Petrol and everything else, remain the same if you demand via elections a big minimum wage hike? And how many small businesses, that actually employ the most people, will have to raise their prices for what they do, to pay their help, or go under; which is the hope of the elite because they hate competition. Socialism is one of their methods of getting rid of the competition.

    Now before you play right into the Globalist elite hands and shout, "Control everything via a Socialized Centralized Marxist Government" which they are drooling for...

    The key to YOUR success would be to stop helping them! Stop buying their stuff. Buy from an independent farm or store or gather together to start your own worker-owned store or co-op. Stop working for them and start your own business providing a product or service that people like you need. That is taking back the power and money into the peoples hands. Stop buying their Petrol and switch to Ethanol which most Anybody can make. Far cheaper and far cleaner.

    Rebelling into Socialism is and would be just giving what remaining power and opportunity to obtain wealth via a business, away to the state, which these same banksters + elites would control in majority, as they partially do now.
    Socialism is for the weak minded cry babies who find it much easier to extort from others through violent revolution than to calmly gather together to make an investment in themselves via producing an item or service that is of value. Revolution isn't easier. But that is how the change agents kill two birds in one shot. Eliminate the competition and grab their assests when there is blood in the streets; while getting the useful idiots to do their dirty work, while they fall into the elite's trap.
    And of course the Capitalists (small business owners not the banksters which are Globalists(communists)) are the evil ones because they took risks and worked for what they achieved.

    Therein lies the problem, Shouting Socialists are too wimpy to risk pooling their money to do something POSITIVE. Their corrupted minds only think Negative, feeling sorry for themselves.
    The most pressing social problem is misinformation, propaganda, socialist indoctrination in the schools, fake news, false flag operations, essentially everything the banksters and their deep state minions do.

    1. Gunther

      Wrong, Capitalists for the last 38 years particularly in the USA lied, cheating, stolen and even murder to get what they wanted and have use the government to achieve their ends. Nowadays, wealthy people and corporation are using government money to subsidize their losses while at the same time the privatizes their profits so the money goes into the pockets so you can't say that they are the ones taking the risks and they are the wimps who don't want to risk their own money and take responsibility for the bad economic decisions that they have made. Regarding small businesses, they are being dislocated and being put out of businesses by big corporations like Walmart, McDonalds, etc who come into the communities and gets all sorts of tax subsidies and tax breaks plus the money is never allowed to circulate in the local community which means less revenue for schools, police, fire services, etc.

      In addition, they are using violence and the legal system to extort things from the people and do everything they can to eliminate the competition. Bill Gates was a perfect example of this. Furthermore, you have business leaders and hedge fund managers coming in to buy up even healthy companies to sell off the assets and pocket the money. They have no interest in investing in the companies and creating new products and jobs let alone invest in society at large. They also want immunity from any kind of legal action taken against them in court for their shoddy products and services while they have complete access to the court.

      You are right about the misinformation; however, it is propaganda, capitalist, plutocrat, o
      oligarchist, indoctrination by the corporate own media who are doing the misinformation

    2. Slavelabour

      Well said my friend thats worth a screenshot soni have it on file

    3. beth

      Perhaps you need this in more depth. I am 73 and when I was in my 29s the bottom half of the population earned 22% of the income in the U.S, now that is 8% and falling. It is getting worse. As one of the bottom 50% of earners, have I earned less that I would have by not working hard? No, I have worked long hours. I was middle class when I started by over the years I have fallen as a result of various factors. But when you look at half of the America workers that has happened to half of the population. What caused that? How would you explain it.

      Often people are so busy that they do not know all that is happening around them. Did that happen to you. Yes, it happened to me.

  5. today is thursday

    inequality? as soon as i hear that word i think of people complaining about there shitty lives... well guess what everyone has a shitty life grow up and navigate threw life's obstetricals.

    1. Lulu

      No, not everyone has a shitty life. Haha. You wish. That would serve complacency and excuse priveledge.

  6. Cronicos

    I wonder how much money that rich arrogant basterd spends on cocaine in a day to keep going with that little rest.

    1. Chad G.

      You gotta be rich in the first place to think like that. Everybody know the poor are always being ****** over by the rich. Always have, always will. " King in Platoon, Keith David. Enough said!