By Gabby Ogbechie, TPG.
I read somewhere that if the entire wealth of the world were to be shared equally between every man, woman and child the world over, it wouldn’t take more than a few months before the line between the poor and the rich would be redrawn. In other words, if one assumes that each individual would receive one million Dollars each if the assumed wealth is equally shared, within three months, one would find that while the net-worth of many would have dwindled to a few hundred thousand Dollars due to acquisitions and purchases they hardly need, a few others would have become billionaires by the same period of time.
In other words, there will always be poverty; the poor will never cease in the world. The Lord and Saviour of all mankind, Jesus Christ said so in confirmation of what the Word of God says in Deuteronomy, Chapter fifteen, and verse eleven.
God repeatedly commanded the children of Israel to take care of the poor and needy, because they were once collectively poor in the land of Egypt, and therefore know what it is like to be poor. At no time than the present has mankind neglected to take care of the poor, and this neglect has resulted in the festering of firstly, the ‘’1%/99%’’ phenomenon, and secondly, the current state of terrorism the world over, which was hitherto restricted to the Middle-East. The neglected poor have become ready and available tools in the hands of agents and purveyors of terror.
A recent study by either Forbes or Fortune shows that the collective net worth of the richest sixty-two individuals in the world is the same as that of the 3.5 billion at the lower end of the wealth spectrum. Obviously, this state of affair is blatantly unacceptable and condemn-able, and must be decried and condemned by all reasonable and just people the world over.
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy of France shot the first salvo against this moral injustice when he remarked, at the height of the ‘’Sub-Prime Mortgage induced Global Economic Recession’’ of 2008/2009 that the Capitalist structure has failed, and that there was a crying need to evolve a new structure that would be fair to all. The new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May struck a more strident chord at the heart of the subject matter when she described the current state of poverty in Great Britain as a ‘’burning injustice.’’
The world didn’t just arrive at this juncture as an endorsement of man’s innate cruelty to fellow man; we basically got here because we neglected history and the unbridled selfishness which privilege creates. It took men who cared to give thought to the concepts, ideals and processes which enabled mankind to arrive at the 21st Century. One can’t help wondering what the world would be like if men like Montesquieu, John Locke, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, etc. had not given thought to how to regulate society. If Karl Marx had not penned ‘’The Communist Manifesto’’ and ‘’Das Capital,’’ with the system eventually tried out in the defunct USSR, the idea of trying that system as an alternative would have remained appealing.
Mankind sort of relapsed in thinking about the general good, and individualism became the mantra that has brought us, collectively to this present passé. As a consequence of such passivity and insouciance, mankind has found itself at a point where the wealth of the few are romanticized, and the penury of many neglected to its detriment, basically because the rich dictate what is read, seen, and heard in the press.
Montesquieu gave form to the molding of the Democratic construct by advocating the separation of the powers of government; and John Locke finally worked on the separation of the powers of the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary. Adam Smith developed the principles by which Capitalism worked side by side in modern Democratic governmental structure via ‘’Free Trade’’ and ‘’Private Enterprise.’’ Unfortunately, while private enterprise has developed into unrelentingly crass capitalism, free trade has effectively nullified by protectionism and trade blocks which tended to exclude economies which are not within such trade blocks.
Primary to capitalism is the principle of the ‘’Invisible hand’’ which does good to all within an economy; despite the fact that the main beneficiary remains the owner of the means of production or entrepreneur. Obviously, the need for recourse to the Socialist/Communist ideal being unnecessary because of its failure in the defunct USSR remains a fait accompli, especially on account of the bestiality it birthed under Joseph Stalin.
It took the negligence of the humaneness and humanity in man; crass accumulation of wealth by the rich; neglect of the poor in the land; and neglect of history for the gulf of extreme wealth and extreme poverty to be conveniently installed.
With a few exceptions here and there worldwide, it has become crystal that one of the fastest ways to wealth is politics. Most ex-Presidents of States the world over are men of extreme wealth, irrespective of whether they got into office rich or poor. In Nigeria, for instance, it is arguable whether every ex-President is not a billionaire, with the exceptions of Dr. Yakubu Gowon and Alhaji Shehu Shagari, and late Murtala Mohammed. In essence, while some blatantly stole from the countries they governed, others allocated to themselves, friends and family members, State assets which guaranteed extreme wealth soon after at negligible cost. A few examples will surfice:
- When the USSR broke up, the then President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin in his quest for Perestroika and privatization of State Assets, allocated the assets of the Oil and Petroleum company, Conoco to a few friends who became instant billionaires via the private companies created with such assets.
- Similar development took place in Nigeria during the Presidency of General Olusegun Obasanjo actualized to see a few Nigerians among the super-rich of the world. And he achieved his wish.
While we believe at The Property Gazette that David Cameron, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is a man of high caliber integrity (for calling for a referendum on whether the UK should leave or stay in the European Union, and quitting when the ‘leave’ campaign won), it took the incoming Prime Minister, Theresa May to observe that the unaddressed state of poverty in Britain was a ‘’burning injustice.’’ She said, among other things:
“That means fighting against the burning injustice that if you’re born poor you will die on average nine years earlier than others. If you’re black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white. If you’re a white working class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university. If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately. If you’re a woman, you will earn less than a man. If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s not enough help to hand. If you’re young, you’ll find it harder than ever before to own your own home,” the new prime minister said:
May said there were many people who were “just managing” and that her mission was to make Britain a country that worked for everyone.
“If you’re from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realize. You have a job but you don’t always have job security. You have your own home but you worry about paying the mortgage. You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and getting your kids into a good school. If you’re one of those families, if you’re just managing, I want to address you directly. I know you’re working around the clock, I know you’re doing your best and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives,” May said.
While Prime Minister Theresa May has resolved that the rich would be compelled to share the profits from business by allowing employees to own part of the businesses they worked for, and be represented on the boards of those companies (a move we believe the rich would find disconcerting and unwelcome), leaders all over the world must join ranks with Theresa May to innovate ways and means of effecting some form of wealth sharing (not transfer) in their own countries.
The United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, one is compelled to posit, have very high stakes in ensuring a world where the majority is not continuously oppressed by a few, because that is a recipe for disaster. Again, we must not fail to reiterate that the current state of terrorism which has exacerbated world poverty was enhanced by the predominance of idle youths who became ready tools in the hands of recruiters of terror in the mold of Islamic extremists who are sworn to Islamize the entire world. A recent study shows that of the legion of foreign recruits by ISIS into their fighting force, Tunisian youths accounted for the highest; six thousands of those foreign fighters, and potential suicide bombers were Tunisians
While it would not be beneficial to continue to lament the current state of world poverty without doing anything about it, we urge all current and aspiring billionaires; all entrepreneurs and stake holders of businesses; Presidents and heads of governments; and members of the hallowed and exclusive ‘’one percent’’ the world over to urgently and sincerely embark on innovations to enhance wealth sharing, going forward, if anarchy and cataclysmic implosions must be avoided.
We at The Property Gazette and LandAssets Consult believe that one of the ways by which this ‘’Wealth Sharing’’ concept could be realized is through The LandAssets Plan. Simply defined, The LandAssets Plan is a concept which seeks to increase the volume of property insurance and use it to provide solutions to the world-wide problem of unemployment, and enhance poverty reduction, wealth creation, industrialization, manufacturing and housing provision. Put in a nut shell, the LandAssets Plan could be defined as the compulsory insurance of all urban and semi-urban based Real Estate within an economy, with a view to:
deepening insurance penetration;
increasing insurance volume and increasing appreciably, the Gross Annual
providing there from, the required funding for infrastructure provision and maintenance;
providing long term funding for the private sector of the economy;
reducing the cost of funds to single digit from the current, tortuous
Double digit rates; and,
jump-starting the economy from a recessive to a productive one
For detailed appreciation of the concept, click any of the following links:
- https://thepropertygazette.org/2014/06/22/13 – On reviving our Depressed Economy; Engendering Growth and Development; and Creating Millions of Jobs: The LandAssets Plan.
- https://thepropertygazette.org/2016/05/02/48795 – LandAssets Plan Implementation.
- https://thepropertygazette.org/2014/06/22/27 – The Jurisprudence of Annuity and The LandAssets Plan.
- https://thepropertygazette.org/2014/06/22/20 – Banking Reforms … The Property Development Sector