Oxfam reports that the income of the world’s 100 richest individuals could eliminate the poverty of billions
The profits of the world’s one hundred most wealthy individuals last year would be enough to wipe out world poverty, says a new report. And not just once over, or twice over, but the vast amount of money that has flowed to the top of the world’s financial food chain would be enough to eradicate the worst kind of poverty a full four times over.
Such an explosion in extreme wealth and income inequality represented by these numbers is exacerbating and hindering the world’s ability to tackle poverty, warns international aid group Oxfam International in a new analysis published ahead of the World Economic Forum starting in Davos this week.
According to the report, the $240 billion net income in 2012 of the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to eliminate extreme poverty four times over. In releasing the report, Oxfam is calling on world leaders to curb today’s income extremes and commit to bringing back inequality levels to at least those experienced in the early 1990’s.
“Concentration of resources in the hands of the top one per cent depresses economic activity and makes life harder for everyone else –particularly those at the bottom of the economic ladder,” said Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam’s executive director.
“We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true,” he said. “In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce, we cannot afford to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what’s left.”
In addition, Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s chief executive, says the world’s extremity of wealth inequality is “economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive”.
Oxfam is calling for a ‘new global deal’ which would stabilize the world’s economic systems and bring equality back in way that would benefit all humanity.