A super-rich one percent of the world’s population has accumulated twice as much wealth as the remaining 90 percent, global charity Oxfam said in a newly-released report.
The gap between the obscenely rich and the rest of humanity has reached grotesque proportions, according to the annual report by Oxfam, published on Monday on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The new report, ‘Time to Care’, which focuses on the largely unpaid care work many women and girls take upon themselves, says that the world’s top 22 richest men have now more wealth than all the women in Africa.
There are only 2,153 billionaires in the world, according to the report, but their wealth matches that of more than 4.6 billion people, or about 62 percent of the world’s population, estimated to stand at 7.7 billion. The gap between the wealthy and all those who fare less well looks even more prominent if to compare the combined income of the richest of the rich – the top one percent – to that of some 6.9 billion people. According to the report, the one-percenters boast more twice as much wealth as nearly 90 percent of the global population.
The charity, which has consistently been arguing that the only way to tackle inequality is to raise taxes, said that taxing additional 0.5 percent of wealth of the top 1 percent over the next decade will provide governments with enough funds to create 117 million of jobs in health, education, elderly care and other sectors.
While Oxfam did not call any names in its report, it appeared to have taken a thinly-veiled jab at Amazon CEO and founder of Blue Origin space company Jeff Bezos, the on-and-off planet’s richest man, who, however, slipped to the second place this week, behind the chairman and CEO of French luxury giant LVMH Bernard Arnault.
“If everyone were to sit on their wealth piled up in $100 bills, most of humanity would be sitting on the floor. A middle-class person in a rich country would be sitting at the height of a chair. The world’s two richest men would be sitting in outer space.”
Commenting on the findings, Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said that while unpaid or poorly paid care work mostly done by women serves as the “hidden engine” that fuels the global economy, “broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big businesses at the expense of ordinary men and women.”
“No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist”
Like this story? Share it with a friend!