LONDON (UK): Eight men own the same wealth as half the world’s population, a level of inequality which “threatens to get our societies apart”, Oxfam said on Monday before World Economic Forum opening in Davos.
The great deal of the world’s poorest 3.6 billion people could be the corresponding to the combined value of six American businessmen, one from Spain and yet another from Mexico.
Picked from Forbes’ billionaires list, they include Microsoft founder Bill gates,Mark Zuckerberg who co-founded Facebook, and Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.
Oxfam pointed to the outcomes of the vast gap between rich and poor and growing discontent with mainstream politics world wide.
“From Brexit towards the success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, a worrying boost in racism as well as the widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics, one can find increasing signs more and more and more people in rich countries aren\’t prepared tolerate the status quo,” Oxfam said in its new report, “An economy for that 99 percent”.
The charity said new data on wealth distribution from countries like India and China had prompted it to revise their own calculation, having said this past year the lot of half the world’s population is in the hands of 62 people.
Inequality are going to be one of several issues topping the agenda as being the world’s political and business elite meet in Davos from Tuesday until Friday, when 3,000 people will gather to the annual meeting of the planet Economic Forum.
“Responsive and responsible leadership” may be chosen as being the theme of the summit, which organisers said had been a solution to a “backlash against globalisation bringing about two surprising vote results as well as a rise in populism inside West”.
In its report Oxfam called for more tax rates targeting “rich individuals and cooperations”, along with a global agreement to separate competition between countries to lessen corporate tax rates.
The charity also decried lobbying by corporations plus the closeness of business and politics, with mandatory public lobby registries and stronger rules on conflicts of interest.