The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth combined as half of the world’s population. This is from Oxfam’s latest report that focuses on the widening economic inequality. Oxfam, which is a well-respected agency, released their report out ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, which begins tomorrow, according to CTV News on Jan. 20.
The report, which is titled “Working for the Few,” will be presented at the WEF. The WEF is an organization that is independent and hosts the summit of business, political and academic leaders.
The executive director of Oxfam put the distribution of wealth in the world in simple, but astounding terms. Winnie Byanyima said:
“It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world’s population own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all sit comfortably in a single train carriage.”
The report also estimates that $21 trillion is hidden by the world’s richest people in off-shore accounts and unrecorded accounts that governments can’t get at to tax.
The Oxfam report also states that in 29 of 30 countries, the tax rates for the richest people have gone down since the 1970s. This means that rich people pay less tax on money that they acquire.
Byanyima said that you first have to tackle inequality before fighting against global poverty. The fight against global poverty cannot be won until this is done first. She also said:
“Widening inequality is creating a vicious circle where wealth and power are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs from the top table.”
Just the visual of a train car full of the 85 richest people in the world having as much money as half of the world’s population really gives you something to think about.