New estimates show that just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world.
That equates to 8 men versus 3600,000,000 people.
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
As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society – especially the poorest – suffers.
The report in summary:
- Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.
- Eight men now own the same amount of wealth [$US426bn] 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.
Oxfam estimates that over the last 25 years, the top 1% have gained more income than the bottom 50% put together. Oxfam cites several causes of the growing inequality, including:
- Corporations increasingly working for those at the top by squeezing workers and producers;
- Tax dodging by multinationals and the wealthy elite;
- Super-charged shareholder capitalism; and
- Crony capitalism.
Credit Suisse, as recently as today, February 2nd 2017 asked online,
I do seem to recall a story about some pitchforks…
Inequality – Global to Local
- Oxfam – An Economy for the 99% [PDF]
- Inequality Matters
- Who’s next?
- Insecure Work – Bill’s Blog
- Social Enterprise? Before or After Riots? – Bill’s Blog