The world’s richest people are getting richer, much faster than anyone else over the past two years.
The top 1% captured nearly twice as much new wealth as the rest of the world over that period, according to Oxfam’s annual Inequality Report, released on Sunday. Their wealth increased by $26 trillion, while the bottom 99% saw their net worth increase by only $16 trillion.
and the wealth accumulation Filthy rich accelerated during the pandemic. Looking at the past decade, they’ve only made half of the new wealth created, compared to two-thirds over the past few years.
The report, which relies on data collected by Forbes, was timed to coincide with the kick-off of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, and it’s an elite crowd. gathering to some of the world’s richest people and leaders.
Meanwhile, many of the less fortunate are suffering. About 1.7 billion workers live in countries where inflation exceed wages. And poverty reduction It probably stalled last year after the number of world poor rose in 2020.
“While ordinary people make daily sacrifices for essentials like food, the super-rich have outgrown even their wildest dreams,” said Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International. “Just two years later, this decade is shaping up to be the best yet for billionaires — a massive boom in the 20s for the world’s richest.”
Although their fortunes have declined somewhat over the past year, global billionaires are still richer than they were at the start of the pandemic.
Their net worth is $11.9 trillion, according to Oxfam. While that’s down nearly $2 trillion from late 2021, it’s still well above the $8.6 trillion billionaires had in March 2020.
The wealthy benefit in three ways, said Nabil Ahmed, director of economic justice at Oxfam America.
At the start of the pandemic, global governments, particularly rich countries, pumped trillions of dollars into their economies to prevent a collapse. This pushed stocks and other assets up in value.
“A lot of that new liquidity ended up with the ultra-rich, who were able to ride this stock market rally, this asset boom,” Ahmed said. “And fair tax fences weren’t in place.”
Also, many companies have done well in recent years. It owns about 95 food and energy companies more than double their earnings in 2022, As inflation has led to higher prices, Oxfam said. It was a lot of this money Payment to shareholders.
In addition, long-term trends of declining workers’ rights and increasing market concentration increase inequality.
By contrast, global poverty increased dramatically early in the pandemic. Although there has been some progress in reducing poverty since then, it is expected to halt in 2022, in part because of the war in Ukraine, which has exacerbated soaring food and energy prices, according to World Bank data cited by Oxfam.
Oxfam said it was the first time in 25 years that extreme wealth and extreme poverty had increased simultaneously.
To counter this growing inequality, Oxfam is calling on governments to raise taxes on their wealthiest residents.
He proposes a one-off wealth tax and windfall taxes to end profiteering from global crises, as well as permanently increasing taxes on the richest 1% of the population to at least 60% of their income from labor and capital.
Oxfam believes that rates in the top 1% must be high enough to significantly reduce their numbers and wealth. Then the money must be redistributed.
“We are facing a severe crisis in wealth concentration,” Ahmed said. “It is important above all, I think, to realize that it is not deterministic. The strategic prerequisite for curbing extreme inequality is taxing the very rich.”
However, the group faces an uphill battle. Eleven countries cut taxes for the rich during the pandemic. And Efforts to increase taxes on the wealthy collapsed in U.S. Congress In 2021, though, Democrats control both chambers and the White House.
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