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Ear to the Ground

Take a Guess at How Many People Collectively Are as Wealthy as Half the World. It’s Less Than That

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Posted on Jan 22, 2014

epSos.de (CC BY 2.0)


We’ve all heard that 1 percent of the global population owns 50 percent of the earth’s wealth, and yet, now that the actual number of people has been calculated by the relief organization Oxfam, it’s hard not to cringe at the fact.

And that fact is ... drumroll, please ... 85 people hold as much money in their hands as the poorer half of the world. If that’s not enough to convince naysayers that inequality exists, nothing is.

The Huffington Post:

Oxfam’s “Working For The Few” report looked at Credit Suisse’s “Global Wealth Report 2013” and Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires from 2013 to conclude that 1 percent of the global population controls half of the world’s wealth….

The ramifications of such inequality may be dire, the report suggests:

This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems. Instead of moving forward together, people are increasingly separated by economic and political power, inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown.
Oxfam calls on leaders gathered at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to tackle the growing inequality through multiple pledges, such as insisting on a living wage for companies they control, and by supporting progressive taxation.

Read more

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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