Economy for the 1%

By   January 29, 2016

Oxfam recently released a report on global inequality titled:

“An Economy For the 1%: How privilege and power in the economy drive extreme inequality and how this can be stopped”

“The global inequality crisis is reaching new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest. A global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled.”

Some points from the report

Oxfam has calculated that:

  • In 2015, just 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6 billion people – the bottom half of humanity. This figure is down from 388 individuals as recently as 2010
  • The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 45% in the five years since 2010 – that’s an increase of more than half a trillion dollars ($542bn), to $1.76 trillion
  • Meanwhile, the wealth of the bottom half fell by just over a trillion dollars in the same period – a drop of 38%
  • Since the turn of the century, the poorest half of the world’s population has received just 1% of the total increase in global wealth, while half of that increase has gone to the top 1%
  • The average annual income of the poorest 10% of people in the world has risen by less than $3 each year in almost a quarter of a century. Their daily income has risen by less than a single cent every year

Possible solutions

Oxfam is calling on leaders to take action to show they are on the side of the majority, and to bring a halt to the inequality crisis. From living wages to better regulation of the activities of the financial sector, there is plenty that policy makers can do to end the economy for the 1% and start building a human economy that benefits everyone:

  • Pay workers a living wage and close the gap with executive rewards
  • Promote women’s economic equality and women’s rights
  • Keep the influence of powerful elites in check
  • Change the global system for R&D and the pricing of medicines so that everyone has access to appropriate and affordable medicines
  • Share the tax burden fairly to level the playing field
  • Use progressive public spending to tackle inequality

Read the report

To read the English / Spanish / French / Portuguese  click here.


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