If you want to know why very large numbers of Third World citizens want to migrate to the First World - Europe, the USA and Canada - by hook or by crook, look no further than this graphic. (Click the image for a larger view.)
It's taken from the latest Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report. Market Watch reports:
According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, a mere 0.7% of the global population owns nearly half the world’s wealth. At the other end, 73% of the population have less than $10,000 each.
. . .
Oxfam International’s Max Lawson, in a response to the study, says inequality has reached “shockingly” high levels, and changes need to be made.
“This huge gap between rich and poor is undermining economies, destabilizing societies and holding back the fight against poverty,” he said. “Governments must act now by cracking down on tax dodging, increasing investment in public services and boosting the income of the lowest paid.”
There's more at the link.
Of course, I disagree entirely with Mr. Lawson's prescription to solve the problem. It's typically socialist - use the state to 'level the playing field' by taxing the hell out of the rich and 'redistributing' wealth to the poorer sections of society.
Unfortunately, this doesn't work. It's never worked in a single country where it's been tried. Everyone ends up paying crippling tax levels to support a social services infrastructure that treats everyone equally badly, rather than equally well. (Classic examples are Britain's National Health Service or Canada's Medicare, which deliver generally good levels of care, provided you're prepared to wait your turn in a very long line to get them. If you die before your turn comes up, or before there's budget available to pay for your needs [which may have to be deferred into the next fiscal year, because they've run out of money this year] . . . that's just too bad.)
Nevertheless, the pyramid shows a grim reality. The phrase 'follow the money' is as applicable in economics as it is anywhere else. Trade will go to places where there's money to pay for it. Economic development will occur in places where there's money to pay for it. Goods and services will flow to, and be produced in, places where there's money to pay for them. That excludes most of the Third World, by default; yet the population of the Third World has doubled, then doubled again, since the Second World War. There's no employment for these people, no prospects, and no hope. Is it any wonder that they, too, are 'following the money' and trying to get into more prosperous nations, by hook or by crook?
I'm not arguing that the rich should lose what they've rightfully earned, through their own hard work and expertise. However, I'll certainly argue that where they've weighted the scales in their own favor, at the expense of everyone else (through measures such as tariffs, preferential taxation, regulatory capture, and so on), those imbalances need to be undone and fair dealing restored, so that everyone else has the same opportunity to progress. I'm absolutely opposed to legislating equal outcomes, but all in favor of ensuring equal opportunity. (Left-wing and progressive elements usually disagree - see, for example, this article.)
I'm also in favor of preserving national identity and securing national borders, so that those within a nation have the first and best chance of improving their lot using the resources that belong to them. Let those from other nations, who want to do likewise, try to improve their own countries to provide greater opportunities. They should not be allowed to invade richer countries, bringing nothing to contribute, but expecting everything that they lack to be given to them (and rioting or burning down what's provided if they're not satisfied with it). Those aren't refugees. They're leeches. Let's treat them as such.