Here's the abstract for the study, The World Distribution of Household Wealth, found here:
But much of the natural resource wealth in the world is in the middle east and in Africa. The transfer of mineral wealth and oil wealth away from the people in the developing countries is stunning. The fact that the people of these countries see little of that wealth is simply wrong. They are as entitled to the earth's resources as we are, and if some countries are more advanced in using them, the people of those countries are being deprived by the structures we have set up.
Nibbling around the edges to ameliorate some of the effects of poverty is not going to reduce poverty or the misery it produces, if we don't recognize and eliminate the structures that create poverty.
Henry George's writings provide the answers. You might start with the recent (contemporary language) abridgment of Progress & Poverty, available from Amazon or Schalkenbach, or online here and here (the latter with an online course available). If you're looking for something shorter, you might take a look at two speeches: The Crime of Poverty and Thou Shalt Not Steal. And you might explore these websites:
- and the rest of this blog: http://lvtfan.typepad.com/
The alternatives are to bemoan the situation, to accept it as simply in the nature of things, or to educate yourself -- and others -- on the cause of poverty and the remedy for it. Yes, singular. The Remedy. Without enacting this reform, none of the other things we attempt are going to succeed. With this reform, most of them will turn out to be unnecessary.
It is something like the serenity prayer ... serenity, courage, wisdom. It is all too easy to be serene about a system in which one perceives oneself to be coming out above the wedge, particularly if one is sure one can keep all one's own loved ones above it, too. But courage would be needed to move us toward knowledge of alternatives, and wisdom to withstand the barbs from those who are sure they are above the wedge -- and that that is all that matters. Or maybe I have wisdom and courage backwards.