The Global One Percent


Despite its name, it is a less “exclusive” club than the US top 1 percent: the global top 1% consists of more than 60 million people, the US top 1% of only 3 million. Thus, among the global top percent, we find the richest 12 percent of Americans (more than 30 million people) and between 3 and 6 percent of the richest Britons, Japanese, Germans, and French. It is a “club” still overwhelmingly composed of the “old rich” world of western Europe, northern America and Japan. The richest 1% of the embattled Euro countries of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece are all part of the global top 1 percentile. However, the richest 1% of Brazilians, Russians and South Africans belong there, too.

Joshua Keating takes note:

As usual with Milanovic’s writing, the paper is a little all over the place but all of it is fascinting. He argues that we are living in a “non-Marxian” world in which a person’s material wellbeing is determined less by class than location. “Differently put, more than fifty percent of one’s income depends on the average income of the country where a person lives or was born,” he writes. So much for workers of the world unite.