Re Bhairitu's post about the scandal that "just 62 ultra-rich individuals . . . have as much wealth as the bottom half of humanity" :
The problem goes back to the acceptance of usury [pronounced YOUsury] in western societies. That inevitably concentrates wealth in the hands of those who are rich to start with. Usury is, today, the practice of making immoral monetary loans that unfairly enrich the lender. In ancient India, Vasishtha forbade Brahmin and Kshatriya castes from participating in usury. St. Thomas Aquinas argued that the charging of interest is wrong because it amounts to "double charging", charging for both the thing and the use of the thing. Aquinas said this would be morally wrong in the same way as if one sold a bottle of wine, charged for the bottle of wine, and then charged for the person using the wine to actually drink it. [Nice analogy!] In The Divine Comedy, Dante places the usurers in the inner ring of the seventh circle of Hell. That's close to the bottom. As an alternative to usury, Islam encourages direct investment in which the creditor shares whatever profit or loss the business may incur. That's the key difference: not taking your kick-back in the good times and still taking your kick-back in the bad times but seeing that we are all in this together.