According to a recent report titled ‘Inequality Inc. How corporate power divides our world and the need for a new era of public action’ released by Oxfam, the fortunes of the world’s five wealthiest individuals have doubled over the past four years. Simultaneously, the report highlights a distressing trend where five billion of the world’s poorest people have become even more impoverished.
Oxfam warns that without significant changes, the global goal of eradicating poverty could be delayed by 229 years. The report underscores that the surge in wealth among billionaires was particularly pronounced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Since then, billionaires have collectively amassed $3.3 trillion in wealth, with the pace of their gains outpacing inflation by 300%.
The five richest individuals named in the report are Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, and Mark Zuckerberg. Their combined wealth has surged by over $400 billion since the pandemic, while nearly five billion of the world’s poorest have seen the actual value of their wealth decrease by 0.2%.
Highlighting an alarming statistic, the report reveals that the top 1% of the global population owns a staggering 59% of all financial services. In contrast, millions of workers worldwide are facing deteriorating working conditions and reduced earnings, equating to a loss of ’25 days of wages for these workers.
Oxfam attributes the growing wealth disparity to deliberate political choices, emphasizing that it is neither accidental nor inevitable. The report advocates for the implementation of a wealth tax on the world’s wealthiest individuals, asserting that the creation of a fairer economy is indeed achievable. The call for decisive action aims to address the systemic issues perpetuating inequality on a global scale.