A temporal sense of the boundless growth of Germany's top 10% and impoverishment of its bottom 10%
Nettoprivatvermögen in Deutschland
Das reichste Zehntel besitzt davon 63%
Das ärmste Zehntel besitzt
Quelle: Vermögensteuer jetzt!
From top to bottom: German net private wealth; wealth of top 10% (who own 63% of all wealth); wealth of poorest 10%
A group of German trades unions, academics, and militants have attempted to seize back the clock as a powerful mode of political expression with their “Wealth Clock” (“Reichtumsuhr”). It seems to be a direct response to the relative success of the US’s National Debt Clock, instituted in the late 80s by property developer Seymour Durst, in impressing into the public consciousness the claimed urgency of dealing with the US national debt, as a route to neoliberal austerity measures. Leaving aside the many arguments that can be levelled against Durst’s fears, the image of a constant up-ticking of a national debt has had its echoes in European states, not least Britain and Germany as flag-bearers for austerity.
Of course, the National Debt Clock is only a genuine quality-assured rip-off; the original is the Doomsday Clock which helped express the fear of Mutually Assured Destruction during the Cold War (and still operates today). One wonders whether the fear that accompanied movements towards midnight in this earlier analog clock to some extent invests itself in the boundless growth of its digital debt-oriented cousin. It is also quite interesting that the Doomsday Clock, with its regard for the tensions of international state blocks, should have taken of the form of determinate finitude (midnight was the end), whereas the capitalist originated debt clock should place as its horizon infinitude itself — though to be fair the National Debt Clock had to be replaced, in 2004, by a bigger clock as the Fed wallowed in its role as printer of the global reserve currency. READ MORE