Global Wealth – Rich-Poor Gap Widening

Richest 42 people own as much as world’s poorest 3.7 billion

The latest Oxfam Report says the gap between the rich and the poor is widening at an astronomical rate. Here are a few indices:
Forty-two people hold as much wealth as the 3.7 billion who make up the poorest half of the world’s population. In 2016, 61 people had held this much wealth while in 2009 it was possessed by 380 people.
Billionaires were created at a record rate of one every two days over the past 12 months, at a time when the bottom 50% of the world’s population had seen no increase in wealth. 82% of the global wealth generated in 2017 went to the most wealthy 1%.
Booming global stock markets have been the main reason for the increase in wealth of those holding financial assets during 2017. The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, saw his wealth rise by $6bn (£4.3bn) in the first 10 days of 2017 as a result of a bull market on Wall Street, making him the world’s richest man.
The wealth of billionaires had risen by 13% a year on average in the decade from 2006 to 2015, with the increase of $762bn (£550bn) in 2017 enough to end extreme poverty seven times over. It said nine out of 10 of the world’s 2,043 dollar billionaires were men.
An Oxfam survey of 70,000 people in 10 countries, including the UK, showed support for action to tackle inequality. Nearly two-thirds of people – 72% in the UK – said they want their government to urgently address the income gap between rich and poor in their country.
In the UK, when asked what a typical British chief executive earned in comparison with an unskilled worker, people guessed 33 times as much. When asked what the ideal ratio should be, they said 7:1. Oxfam said that FTSE 100 bosses earned on average 120 times more than the average employee.
An Oxfam survey of 70,000 people in 10 countries, including the UK, showed support for action to tackle inequality. Nearly two-thirds of people – 72% in the UK – said they want their government to urgently address the income gap between rich and poor in their country.

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