You must have heard that there are about 1,426 billionaires in the world, but we bet you didn’t know that in the revised report of the richest people on earth by Oxfam, eight of them (all men) are as rich as half the world’s population.
In 2016, the report had said that the 62 richest people on earth owned as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. However, the new revision cuts the figure down to eight following new information gathered by Swiss bank Credit Suisse. The eight includes Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft ($75 Billion), Amancio Ortega, Inditex Fashion ($67 Billion), Warren Buffet, Investor ($60.8 Billion), Carlos Alim Helu, CEO, Telmex ($50 Billion), Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon ($45.2 Billion), Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Facebook ($44.6 Billion), Larry Elison, Founder, Oracle ($43.6 Billion), and Michael Bloomberg, CEO, Bloomberg ($40 Billion).
However, “wealth” as defined by Oxfam might not mean what most people think because Credit Suisse’s annual Global Wealth Databook, the primary data source for Oxfam’s report, uses net wealth, defined as “marketable value of financial assets plus non-financial assets (principally housing and land) minus debts.”
This doesn’t mean Oxfam’s number is wrong. The one-percenters do indeed control their acquisition of wealth. Analysts are of the opinion, however, that “assets minus debt” might not be the best way to analyse global inequality, as low net-worth individuals in rich countries will appear poorer under Oxfam’s definition of wealth than the low net-worth individuals in poor countries
The Oxfam findings should help build a stronger case for an increase in the federal minimum wage for many countries.
In 2014, the World Economic Forum said that widening income inequality was most likely to cause serious damage in the next decade, including a global trust crisis between the rich and the poor as corporations would most likely take the first hit.
The latest report shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010, a drop of 38 percent. Meanwhile, the wealth of the richest 62 has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76tr. The report also shows that women are disproportionately affected by inequality, as only nine women make up the list as opposed to fifth-three men.
Oxfam is calling for immediate action to tackle the inequality crisis which threatens to undermine the World Bank’s goal to end extreme poverty by 2030. The aid organisation sees the end of tax havens as an important step that can achieve wealth equality as rich individuals and corporations will no longer avoid contributing to society.
Source – Ventures Africa