The Richest 8 People Have As Much Wealth As The World’s Poorest Half, That’s More Than 3,750,000,000 People
The world’s eight richest billionaires possess the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe’s population, according to a new report. The information comes from Oxfam, a charity that is attempting to end poverty in the world, and shows that the world’s poorest 50%, about 3,750,000,000 people, owned the same in assets as the $426 billion owned by just eight individuals.
In Oxfam’s report titled “An Economy for the 99%,” it listed these eight men as the richest in the world: Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim Helu, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Michael Bloomberg.
The report states that between 1988 and 2011 the incomes of the poorest 10% increased by just $65, while the incomes of the richest 1% grew by $11,800 – 182 times as much.
The eye-opening report about the vast income gap came on the same day as World Economic Forum kicked off in Davos, Switzerland.
The list was headed by the Microsoft founder Bill Gates with a staggering wealth of $75 billion.
In fairness, Gates started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a 15-year endowment of $44.3 billion.
Gates has donated over $28 billion, plus more than $8 billion to improve global health, including $1.8 billion in an effort to eradicate the world of polio.
In 2006, Warren Buffett (then the world’s richest person, with an estimated worth of $62 billion) pledged $17.5 billion to the Gates Foundation.
The other members of the insanely exclusive club are Amancio Ortega (Spanish founder of Inditex fashion group), Carlos Slim Helú (Mexican telecom tycoon), Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook,) Larry Ellison (Chief executive of Oracle), and Michael Bloomberg (Owner of the Bloomberg news).
Oxfam utilized information from the Forbes Billionaires list that was published in March 2016, and used research from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook.
Oxfam blames the massive wealth divide on corporate tax dodging, the squeezing of workers, and corporations that are obsessed with maximizing shareholder profits.
Oxfam, which is behind a “global movement the believes the world rich in resources, poverty isn’t inevitable,” stated this:
The very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable and unjust point. Our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people. Accountable and visionary governments, businesses that work in the interests of workers and producers, a valued environment, women’s rights and a strong system of fair taxation, are central to this more human economy. The sources and methodology behind the headline facts in this paper are explained in the separate methodology note.
To spread that change and make it last, political solutions are also needed to tackle the root causes of poverty and create societies where empowered individuals can thrive. We will always act, we will speak out, and we won’t live with poverty.
“It is beyond grotesque that a group of men who could easily fit in a single golf buggy own more than the poorest half of humanity,” said Mark Goldring, Oxfam chief executive.
Oxfam called for fundamental change to ensure that economies worked for everyone, not just “a privileged few”.