Oxfam – a new Report released in January 2014 on economic and social inequalities: HALF of the world wealth is in the HANDS OF ONE PERCENT of the population
JANUARY 20, 2014, Oxfam international, a non–governmental organization released a Report, entitled “WORKING FOR THE FEW Political capture and economic inequality”, underlining the social and economic risks behind the increasing extreme economic inequality in the majority of countries in the world. Here, the main findings of the study:
1) Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
2) The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.
3) The richest 85 people in the world owns the same as the bottom half of the world’s population.
4) Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.
5) The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.
6) In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.
This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a real threat to inclusive political and economic systems. Left unchecked, political institutions are undermined and governments overwhelmingly serve the interests of economic elites – to the detriment of ordinary people.
In particular, Oxfam is concerned that the effects are potentially immutable, and will lead to “opportunity capture” – in which the lowest tax rates, the best education, and the best healthcare are claimed by the children of the rich. This creates dynamic and mutually reinforcing cycles of advantage that are transmitted across generations.
This dangerous trend can be reversed. The good news is that there are clear examples of success, both historical and current. The US and Europe in the three decades after World War II reduced inequality while growing prosperous. Latin America has significantly reduced inequality in the last decade. According to Oxfam, this goal can be reached through cracking down on financial secrecy and tax dodging, more progressive taxation, public services, social protection and decent work.
Source: LTEconomy elaboration on Oxfam
LTEconomy, February 13, 2014
From Oxfam, January, 2014