The popular truism, ‘the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer’ has never been in doubt despite the claims by statisticians and economists to the contrary. And this fact has been proven to be true with the latest report released by Oxfam on Monday, January 22. According to Oxfam, the world’s 85 richest individuals now own as much as the poorest half of the 7 billion global population.
The leading anti-poverty charity called on the global economic elite gathering in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum to “counter the growing tide of inequality” and prevent a static future in which only the rich have access to the best education and healthcare.
“It is staggering that in the 21st century, half of the world’s population owns no more than tiny elite whose numbers could all sit comfortably in a single train carriage,” said Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam Executive Director. The report calls on governments to crackdown on international tax dodgers and invest in public institutions such as healthcare, as well as implement progressive taxes and eradicate opaque political structures that encourage corruption.
While the World Economic Forum in Davos provides the world’s super elite with a forum to discuss the global economy, the group is far from deaf on issues pertaining to inequality. Last November, the WEF warned that financial inequality threatened to undermine social stability and security on a “global scale.”