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Oxfam: 8 Men Are Now Richer than Half the World

Oxfam report claims that 8 men are richer than 3.6 billion people combined.


Oxfam report claims that 8 men are richer than 3.6 billion people combined.

A new study released by Oxfam draws from Forbes’ annual list of billionaires and Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Databook to arrive at the eye-opening conclusion that just 8 men have a great combined wealth than the rest of the world.

The Oxfam report said that the richest 1% has now owned a great fortune than the rest of the whole world since 2015.

“Despite world leaders signing up to a global goal to reduce inequality, the gap between the rich and the rest has widened. “Far from trickling down, income and wealth are being sucked upwards at an alarming rate,” the report said.

Is it Relevant?

The timing of the report is telling. Designed to build popular outrage to income inequality and put pressure on the World Economic Problem in Davos, the use of statistics has been criticized by several economists.

Many point out the simple fact that the wealth of a few billionaires is largely irrelevant to daily life of most people.

Were the wealthiest in the world to redistribute their funds then it would yield a total sum of around  150 dollars per person on the planet.

Several have noted that economists traditionally avoid focusing on a few headline-grabbing examples in favor of measures like the Gini co-efficient and the Pareto curve to communicate a broader picture of society and to illustrate a more nuanced picture over time.

Examples from history of punitive tax rates for the wealthy, as in the 1970s in Labour’s UK, in fact led to an increase in inequality which complicates the situation somewhat.

What is clear is that Oxfam have tapped into a growing distaste for current financial systems.

Loud Cry for Economic Change

The populist election of president Donald Trump, Brexit and Oxfam have a distrust of the benefits of globalization in common.

Many feel the internationalization of the first world in the last 50 years have left their borders and economies weak and vulnerable despite repeated assertions by “experts” to the contrary.

Oxfam’s report certainly feeds into the strong undercurrent of distrust of the world’s wealthy.