A new study published by Oxfam showed that the top 26 wealthiest people in the world have as much money as the 3.8 billion poorest on Earth, totaling £1.1trillion.
Despite his ongoing divorce, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest man in the world, ahead of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
According to Oxfam, the gap between the poorest and the wealthiest people on Earth has widened dramatically. The richest people on earth reportedly make £2 billion per day.
The statement was published a few days before Davos’ World Economic Forum. Its goal was to alert world’s leaders.
While Oxfam’s video went viral during Davos Forum, global leaders did not take new measures.
Oxfam calls out governments
British non-profit organization Oxfam severely criticized top world’s governments for inaction. In its report, the NGO described the wealth gap as being worrying and dramatically increasing.
According to Oxfam, governments are “exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education, on the one hand, while under taxing corporations and the wealthy.”
Moreover, Oxfam also highlighted a gender gap. Women and girls are most likely to be paid less than men, while living in higher precarious conditions.
“Girls are pulled out of school first when the money isn’t available to pay fees, and women clock up hours of unpaid work looking after sick relatives when healthcare systems fail,” says the report.
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New numbers are alarming
While governments do not seem to take measures fast enough, Oxfam has compared in its report top wealthiest men’s portfolio with government’s budget.
For example, Jeff Bezos’s fortune is estimated at £112 billion. 1% of his total wealth equals the health budget of Ethiopia.
The African country has a population of 105 million people, Oxfam said. As a reminder, more than 10,000 people die every day because of lack of an affordable healthcare.
The number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis, yet wealthy individuals and corporations are paying lower rates of tax than they have in decades.
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) February 12, 2019
In some countries, such as Brazil, the poorest residents pay even more taxes than the wealthiest. This is due to an uneven health system, that Oxfam condemned.
However, wealth redistribution could help many countries improving their living conditions.
As Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International commented: “Your bank account should not define how long you are going to live or how well your education is going to be” .
Better taxes could save lives
While the report says that the richest individuals on Earth are hiding £7 trillion in offshore accounts, Oxfam advocated for raising taxes.
By only raising wealth taxes, more than 262 million children would be able to go to school. It would also save about 3.3 million lives.
To illustrate its analysis, Oxfam published in its report that for every dollar there is in the world, only four cents were collected from tariffs on wealth.
“The top rate of personal income tax in rich countries fell from 62 percent in 1970 to just 38 percent in 2013″, it added.
⚡️ “The Cost of Inequality”https://t.co/9pdoDujeM4
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) January 30, 2019
“People across the globe are angry and frustrated. Governments must now deliver real change by ensuring corporations”, added Winnie Byanyima.
However, Davos Forum did not seem to act in a signifiant way two weeks ago. No major measure was taken.
In the meantime, economists and sociologists worry.
Global wealth numbers are dramatically different compared with Oxfam’s last report. In 2017, the richest 1% took in 82% of wealth created.