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8 Billionaires Own Same Wealth As Poorest 50%

Unic Press UK: Oxfam, one of the world’s renowned aid and development charity said that the eight richest people have the same wealth as the poorest fifty percent.

In its report “An Economy For The 99%“, which was published in January 2017, Oxfam said:

“Global inequality:

  1. Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.
  2. Eight men now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world.
  3. Over the next 20 years, 500 people will hand over $2.1 trillion to their heirs – a sum larger than the GDP of India, a country of 1.3 billion people.
  4. The incomes of the poorest 10% of people increased by less than $3 a year between 1988 and 2011, while the incomes of the richest 1% increased 182 times as much.
  5. FTSE-100 CEO earns as much in a year as 10,000 people in working in garment factories in Bangladesh.
  6. In the US, new research by economist Thomas Piketty shows that over the last 30 years the growth in the incomes of the bottom 50% has been zero, whereas incomes of the top 1% have grown 300%.
  7. In Vietnam, the country‟s richest man earns more in a day than the poorest person earns in 10 years.

The charitable organization identified some of the causes of global inequality as:

  • Avoiding tax, buying politics.
  • Crony capitalism: Corporations use their enormous power to sway regulations ensuring that the national/international policies are shaped in ways that enable continued profitability.
  • Super-charged shareholder capitalism: “Corporations are increasingly driven by a single goal: to maximize returns to their shareholders. This means not only maximizing short-term profits, but paying out an ever-greater share of these profits to the people who own them. In the UK, 10% of profits were returned to shareholders in 1970; this figure is now 70%.”
  • Dodging tax: Corporations are also driven by dodgy ways aimed at paying as little tax as possible, using tax havens. In some cases corporations influence states to allow tax breaks, exemptions and lower rates.
  • Squeezing workers and producers with low wages.

To reverse the growing inequality, which threatens to pull our societies apart, Oxfam says that a “human economy” should be designed [for the benefit of the 99%, not the 1%] in ways that:

  1. Governments will work for the 99%.
  2. Governments will cooperate, not just compete.
  3. Companies will work for the benefit of everyone.
  4. There be an end to the extreme concentration of wealth to end extreme poverty.
  5. It will work equally for men and women.
  6. Technology will be harnessed for the interests of the 99%.
  7. It will be powered by sustainable renewable energy.
  8. It values and measures what really matters.
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