The Ugly Reality

The 85 Richest People on the Planet Own the Wealth of Half the World’s Population

The world’s 85 richest people own the same amount of wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion, Oxfam revealed in a new report released January 20th, before the opening of the 2014 Davos World Economic Forum. These 85 people have USD 1.7 trillion, similar to the wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.Oxfam is urging global political and business leaders to turn around the rapidly increasing inequality and tackle this serious problem.
The report says inequality is out of control, and many laws favor the rich; lobbied for in a “power grab” by the world’s wealthiest. The elite have rigged laws, undermining democracy and creating an unfair world. Financial deregulation, tax havens, secrecy, anti-competitive business practices, lower tax rates on high incomes and investments and cuts or underinvestment in public services for the majority all favor the rich. People are increasingly separated by economic and political power, heightening social tensions and risking societal breakdown, the report stated.
“It is staggering that, in the 21st century, half of the population 3.5billion people own no more than a tiny elite who could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus,” Oxfam chief executive Winnie Byanyima said.
Tax dodging and using economic wealth to pressure governments should stop and investments in companies and trusts for which they are the ultimate beneficial owners should be made public, governments should use tax revenue to provide universal healthcare, education and social protection, Oxfam suggests..
According to Oxfam, the richest 1Pct have USD110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the planet’s population, threatening inclusive political and economic systems.
Last year 210 people joined 1,426 billionaires with a combined net worth of USD5.4 trillion.

2nd Year • February 2014 • No 12


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