Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam to mark the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos.
(By Dario Ruggiero)
Every year in January the non-governmental organization, Oxfam International, updates its study on “inequality”. The problem is that year after year inequality around the world grows ever more. The peculiarity in the Oxfam’s study is that it comes up with a measure which compare the wealth owned by the richest people in the world with that of the poorest ones. More specifically, Oxfam international calculates how many rich people, taken together, own the same wealth of the poorest half of the population.
The result? Last year 62 men own the same wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people. Now the figure is 8! Oxfam says that this vast difference is mostly due to un upgrading in their statistics in countries like China and India. Taking into account this upgrading, last year the figure would have bine 9 and not 62. Anyway the figure has worsen.
The rising inequality: working for the super-rich
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said:
“Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.” “…Across the world, people are being left behind. Their wages are stagnating yet corporate bosses take home million dollar bonuses; their health and education services are cut while corporations and the super-rich dodge their taxes; their voices are ignored as governments sing to the tune of big business and a wealthy elite.”
Oxfam’s blueprint against inequality
Oxfam’s blueprint for a more human economy includes:
1) Ending extreme concentration of wealth and poverty. Governments should increase taxes on both wealth and high incomes to ensure a more level playing field, and to generate funds needed to invest in healthcare, education and job creation.
2) Cooperation rather than competition. Governments should work together to ensure workers are paid a decent wage, and to put a stop to tax dodging and the race to the bottom on corporate tax.
3) Promoting ethical companies. Governments support companies that benefit their workers and society rather than just their shareholders. The multi-billion Euro company Mondragon, is owned by its 74,000 strong workforce. All employees receive a decent wage because its pay structure ensures that the highest paid member of staff earns no more than 9 times the amount of the lowest paid.
4) Economies working for women. Governments must help to dismantle the barriers to women’s economic progress such as access to education and the unfair burden of unpaid care work.
5) Building a human economy. Oxfam is also calling on business leaders to play their part in building a human economy. They can make a start by committing to pay their fair share of tax and by ensuring their businesses pay a living wage. People around the global can also join the campaign at www.evenitup.org.
Read more on Long Term economy, the unique model able to create a real sustainable economy.
Sources: Long Term Economy
LTEconomy, 13th March 2017
Oxfam, (January 16, 2017), Just 8 men own same wealth as half the world