IMPACT

The Case For Ending Extreme Wealth In Order To End Extreme Poverty, In 1 Comic

“The idea is very simple: To take a small amount of money from the extremely wealthy…that can trickle down and spread to the whole of society!”

The U.N. approved an expensive and ambitious plan last month to end extreme poverty by 2030, but a subversive Swedish music duo has offered up a far cheaper approach.

The electronic music group the Knife recently released a snarky comic that proposes ending extreme wealth as a means of eradicating global poverty, which is a message the group emphasizes on its a website. 

Comic by Live Stromquist

The characters in the strip have such expertise as a “minor field study on a yacht.” And, another has experimented with building schools that educate wealthy people about white privilege and surplus labor.

The topic is a timely one considering that the U.N. just adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals that aim to empower the poor and end injustices that disproportionately affect underserved people. In addition to tackling poverty, the U.N. agreed to provide clean water, sanitation and quality education to all, among other basic rights, in the next 15 years, a plan that is expected to cost between $3.5 trillion and $5 trillion every year, the Associated Press reported.

While some of the specific suggestions in the Knife’s comic may have been intended to be tongue in cheek, some of their sentiments reflect accurate statistics.

Comic by Live Stromquist

One of the “experts” in the comic recommended an economic theory called “micro-snatch,” where society would just take a “small amount” from the very wealthy and give it to the poor. For example, “snatching” a medium-sized mansion could help house 25 to 30 homeless people, the expert noted.

The solution hearkens to a recent Oxfam study, which noted that by the end of next year, the richest 1 percent will own more than half the world’s wealth. 

"He and his family are caught in a vicious cycle of wanting more and more crap, a circle that is very difficult to break," the lead character notes of one of the wealthy case studies. "They have very little or no concept of what democracy is."

Comic by Live Stromquist

Another issue the comic brings up is the disconnect that exists between rich and poor communities, making it nearly impossible for either to really understand how the other side lives. 

“I can’t believe that you actually LIVED side by side with these people. Were you never scared?” the U.N. moderator asks a woman who spent several months doing a “participant observation” at a horse polo club.

“But sometimes I felt overwhelmed with helplessness,” the character adds. “Many of these people live in a very limited environment. They have never been outside the finance district, gated communities or the typical holiday resorts of the extremely wealthy.”

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