Oxfam Report Highlights Growing Wealth Inequality Ahead of Davos Forum

Davos forum 1
Income Inequality

Income Inequality has grown exponentially since the Great Depression. In 2017, the richest people in the world took home 82% of the wealth. Photo Credit: Pixabay

82% of the wealth created last year in the world ended in the hands of the richest 1% of the population of the planet according to the NGO Oxfam.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a prosperous economy, but a symptom of the failure of the economic system,” said Oxfam director Winnie Byanyima, when the report “Rewarding Labor, not wealth” was released on the eve of the opening of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

“We are exploiting the people who make our clothes, who assemble our cell phones and grow the food we eat, to ensure a constant supply of cheap products, but also to increase the profits of companies and their wealthy investors,” she said, quoted in a statement.

According to Oxfam’s report, 3.7 billion people, or 50% of the world’s population, did not make the slightest profit from global growth last year, while the richest 1% pocketed 82%.

Since 2010, ie shortly after the start of the crisis in 2008, the wealth of this “economic elite” has increased on average by 13% per year, said Oxfam, with a peak reached between March 2016 and March 2017, when “the largest increase in history occurred in the number of people whose fortunes exceed $ 1 billion, at the rate of a new billionaire every other day.”

Must Read:  This is how birds manage to orient themselves in the air

For Oxfam, the workers find themselves “at the bottom of the pyramid”. “All over the world, women earn less than men and they are over-represented in the lowest paid and most precarious jobs,” she says. “In the same way, out of 10 new billionaires, 9 are men,” she added.

The NGO, which traditionally publishes a report on inequality just before the economic elite meets in Davos, Switzerland, calls on leaders to “make the economy work for all, not just for a rich minority” .

It advocates the limitation of dividends for shareholders and business leaders, the end of the “pay gap” between men and women, as well as the fight against tax evasion.

According to an Oxfam survey of 70,000 people in 10 countries, released on the occasion of the report, two-thirds of those polled said it was “urgent” to deal with “the gap between rich and poor.

The survey was conducted in India, Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Morocco, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Carl Frantz

Polyglot, humanitarian, Carl was born in Germany but raised in the USA. He writes mostly on tech, science and culture.