The Big Lies
– John McMurtry
The just-released Oxfam Davos Report which the mass media have ignored arrestingly shows that 62 individuals – 388 in 2010 – now own more wealth than 50% of the world’s population. More shockingly, it reports from its uncontested public sources that this share of wealth by half of the world’s people has collapsed by over 40% in just the last five years.
Yet the big lies persist even here that “the progress has been made in tackling world poverty” and “extreme poverty has been halved since 1990”.
Reversing Undeniable Fact as Ultimate Justification
Unbelievably, the endlessly repeated assertion of the form that ‘the poor are being lifted out of poverty in ever greater numbers’ continues on untouched despite the hard evidence that, in fact, the poorer half of humanity has lost almost half of their wealth in just the last five years.
This big lie is significant in its implications. For not only is a pervasive claim about the success of globalization undeniably falsified while no-one notices it. Basic market theory and dogma collapses as a result. What is daily claimed as an infallible benefit of the global market is shown to be the opposite of reality. What does it mean for “trickle-down theory” when, in truth, the trickle down goes up in hundreds of billions of dollars to the rich from the already poor and destitute?
What can we say now of the tirelessly proclaimed doctrine that the global market brings “more wealth for all” when, in fact, unimpeachable business evidence shows the opposite reality on the ground and across the world. For the poor have undeniably lost almost half their share of global wealth while the richest have multiplied theirs at the same time.
The evidence proves, in short, that the main moral and economic claims justifying the global market are very big lies becoming bigger all the time.
Worse than delusional, the lived reality of impoverishment of billions of people is reversed, the victims are continually proclaimed to be doing better under the system that increasingly deprives them of what little they have, and a trillion dollars worth of loss to the poorer half of humanity ends up in the pockets of the rich within only five years.
While the ever bigger lies go on justifying the global system that eats the poor alive as “poverty amelioration”, ever more of the same policies of accumulation by dispossession justify still more stripping of the majority as more “austerity”, more “welfare cuts”, and more “labor flexibility” – in a word, more starvation and depredation of people’s lives and life conditions as “more freedom and prosperity for all”. …