World’s 8 Richest People Have Same Wealth As Poorest 50%.
It is four years since the World Economic Forum identified rising economic inequality as a major threat to social stability, and three years since the World Bank twinned its goal for ending poverty with the need for shared prosperity. Since then, and despite world leaders signing up to a global goal to reduce inequality, the gap between the rich and the rest has widened. This cannot continue. As President Obama told the UN General Assembly in his departing speech in September 2016: A world where 1% of humanity controls as much wealth as the bottom 99% will never be stable. Yet the global inequality crisis continues unabated:
- Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.
- Eight men now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world.
- Over the next 20 years, 500 people will hand over $2.1 trillion to their heirs – a sum larger than the GDP of India, a country of 1.3 billion people.
- The incomes of the poorest 10% of people increased by less than $3 a year between 1988 and 2011, while the incomes of the richest 1% increased 182 times as much.
- A FTSE-100 CEO earns as much in a year as 10,000 people in working in garment factories in Bangladesh.
- In the US, new research by economist Thomas Piketty shows that over the last 30 years the growth in the incomes of the bottom 50% has been zero, whereas incomes of the top 1% have grown 300%.
- In Vietnam, the country’s richest man earns more in a day than the poorest person earns in 10 years.
Left unchecked, growing inequality threatens to pull our societies apart. It increases crime and insecurity, and undermines the fight to end poverty. 10 It leaves more people living in fear and fewer in hope. The causes of inequality indicated by the Report are:
- Corporations working for those at the top;
- Squeezing workers and producers;
- Dodging tax;
- Super-charged shareholder capitalism;
- Crony capitalism;
- The role of the super-rich in this inequality crisis; and
- Avoiding tax and buying politics.
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