Eight men have as much wealth as the world's poorest half
- Author: Delia Davidson Jan 17, 2017,
Jan 17, 2017, 0:42
Where the money went. For the past three years, we have been tracking these data sources to understand how the global wealth distribution is evolving.
That's a stunning change from just three years ago, when Oxfam found that 85 people carried that much wealth.
Crumbs at the bottom.
As the world's elite gather for their annual worldwide gabfest in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, Oxfam's timely report is a good reminder that global wealth is dangerously concentrated in the hands of an unaccountable and filthy rich few.
As Mark Goldring, Oxfam's CEO writes in a Guardian Op-Ed explaining the report, numerous top eight are also among the world's most prominent philanthropists.
The development charity called for a new economic model to reverse an inequality trend that it said helped to explain Brexit and Donald Trump's victory in the USA presidential election.
The report also suggests that the rich pay a wealth tax for their high incomes.
Governments will cooperate, not just compete. "One recent estimate is that $7.6 trillion of individual wealth - more than the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of the United Kingdom and Germany - is now held offshore", Oxfam estimated. "The fact that a super-rich elite are able to prosper at the expense of the rest of us at home and overseas shows how warped our economy has become". "To put this figure in perspective - you would need to spend $1 million every day for 2738 years to spend $1 trillion".
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A new study by Oxfam highlighted the gap between the wealth of individuals.
The list also coincides with the Forbes' list of the world's richest.
While many will gawk at this shocking level of inequality, it will be without the realisation that they are likely part of the 1% of earners - rather than being in the poorer 99%. Frustrating, but true. By the way, when Britain last had something like Jeremy Corbyn's maximum wage, with punitive marginal tax rates in the 1970s, inequality actually rose during the Labour government's tenure from 1974 to 1979.
According to the report, Kenya lost more than Sh100 billion in 2011 through tax incentives to corporations, depriving the country of vital revenue, yet informal traders face hard application processes and strict requirements to benefit from financial services such as credit and loans. Apple allegedly paid 0.005 per cent of tax on its European profits in 2014.
Here in the United Kingdom we are told that income inequality is falling - but we're still the seventh most unequal country out of thirty in the OECD.
John Daly, CEO with the Grattan Institute, said Australia had fared reasonably well in income equality levels compared with the U.S., where income levels for many people have not risen in 30 years.
While income for the lower middle class and upper middle class have witnessed a minute surge, income for the rich and top executives have increased multi-fold over the last few years. "For the bottom 20 per cent it has been a 30 per cent increase which is significant", Mr Daly said.
Sustainable renewable energy should also come to the fore to ensure the sustainability of the planet.