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OxFam Study: 62 People Own More Wealth Than Half The World's Population Combined

I'll bet we can all name the billionaires at the top of the list, too.

This ought to make its way into Bernie Sanders' stump speech!

Via The Guardian:

The vast and growing gap between rich and poor has been laid bare in a new Oxfam report showing that the 62 richest billionaires own as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population.

Timed to coincide with this week’s gathering of many of the super-rich at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, the report calls for urgent action to deal with a trend showing that 1% of people own more wealth than the other 99% combined.

Oxfam said that the wealth of the poorest 50% dropped by 41% between 2010 and 2015, despite an increase in the global population of 400m. In the same period, the wealth of the richest 62 people increased by $500bn (£350bn) to $1.76tn.
Goldring, the Oxfam GB chief executive, said: “It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all on a single coach.

“World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth. In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake.”

The worst part of this is that the number of billionaires owning that hunk of the world's wealth has actually been shrinking.

That doesn't mean there are less billionaires. It just means it takes less billionaires to own the same amount of the world's wealth as half the entire global population.

This report comes in advance of the Davos conference, or what I like to call "billionaires lip service to making a better world." They can attend so they feel good about talking big, and then they go right on back to what they were doing before.


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OxFam does have some policy prescriptions, however.

Oxfam said a three-pronged approach was needed: a crackdown on tax dodging; higher investment in public services; and higher wages for the low paid. It said a priority should be to close down tax havens, increasingly used by rich individuals and companies to avoid paying tax and which had deprived governments of the resources needed to tackle poverty and inequality.

Remember this the next time Republicans talk about how terrible it is to shore up the social safety net, or want more cuts to food stamps, or whatever. It's only terrible for the world's poor folks, not for them.

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