We all know income inequality is bad and keeps getting worse, but did you know it was this bad? The 8 richest people (Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim Helu, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison and Michael Bloomberg) now have the same wealth as the poorest half of the world (3.6 billion people). That’s right 8 men have the same wealth as 3,600,000,000.
Oxfam compared the wealth of the Forbes Billionaires list to the bottom 50% from Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2016 to come up with the startling statistic in their report An Economy for the 99%. The report also mentioned a few more sad facts regarding our planet’s widening income inequality:
Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.
Eight men now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world.
Over the next 20 years, 500 people will hand over $2.1 trillion to their heirs – a sum larger than the GDP of India, a country of 1.3 billion people.
The incomes of the poorest 10% of people increased by less than $3 a year between 1988 and 2011, while the incomes of the richest 1% increased 182 times as much.
A FTSE-100 CEO earns as much in a year as 10,000 people in working in garment factories in Bangladesh.
In the US, new research by economist Thomas Piketty shows that over the last 30 years the growth in the incomes of the bottom 50% has been zero, whereas incomes of the top 1% have grown 300%.
In Vietnam, the country’s richest man earns more in a day than the poorest person earns in 10 years.
So what can we do about this obscene gap between the world’s wealthiest and poorest? Oxfam recommends the following 5 actions:
- Stop offshore tax dodging which costs the US and developing countries more than $100 billion each year.
- Raise the minimum wage so that working families can make a living wage.
- Fight discrimination of all kinds and ensure equal pay for equal work.
- Build and invest in a social safety net for everyone.
- Ensure every person has access to affordable, high quality healthcare and education.
See below full the full report, An Economy for the 99%: