Believe it or not, only 85 people own nearly half of all the wealth which exists in the entire world. That’s according to a report entitled “Working for the Few,” which comes from Oxfam and was released right before the World Economic Forum.
Wealth becomes more concentrated
According to The Economic Times, that report from Oxfam indicates that both developed and developing countries are facing the same problem with widening inequality among classes. The report also indicated that in 29 of the 30 countries for which the information is availability, tax rates for the wealthy have declined. This would suggest that not only do the wealthy have more money, but they’re also paying less tax on what they own.
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Over the last 25 years in particular, Oxfam said wealth became more and more concentrated in smaller and smaller groups of people. In fact, the organization said that at this point, just 1% of the families in the world own 46% of the wealth in the world. It also said that 70% of people live in countries where economic inequality has gotten worse over the last three decades and that the richest 1% of people in the world have increased their income share in 24 of the 26 countries which have data available for the years 1980 to 2012.
Oxfam urges governments to take action
The organization is urging the world’s governments to reverse this trend. In particular, it asks World Economic Forum attendees to make personal pledges to handle the issue. Oxfam claims that the world’s richest people and enterprises hid trillions of dollars from tax authorities using the world’s tax havens. According to the organization’s report about $21 trillion “is held unrecorded and off-shore.”
Oxfam also reports that the number of billionaires in India has risen tenfold over the last 10 years because of the tax structure and the ways the wealthy there allegedly exploit their connections within the government. Meanwhile, the report says that spending on the lowest class in India is still very low.