Over the past two years, the wealthiest people on earth have increased their money at a much quicker rate than anyone else, as reported by CNN.
The annual inequality report from Oxfam, which was issued on Sunday, shows that during that time, the top 1% have amassed roughly twice as much additional wealth as the rest of the globe. Their wealth increased by $26 trillion, while the bottom 99% only witnessed a $16 trillion increase in their wealth.
And the epidemic enhanced the super-rate rich’s wealth accumulation. In the last ten years, they only received half of all newly created wealth, as opposed to two-thirds in the most recent few years.
The publication of the study, which is based on data gathered by Forbes, was planned to begin at the same time as the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which attracts some of the richest people and top political figures in the world.
Many of the least fortunate people are still having difficulty. There are 1.7 billion workers who reside in nations where wages are not keeping up with inflation. And it’s likely that poverty reduction came to a halt last year as the global poverty rate rose in 2020.
According to Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International, “while regular people are making daily compromises on necessities like food, the super-rich have excelled even their greatest expectations.” This decade, which is only two years old, is already shaping up to be the finest for billionaires—a roaring ’20s boom for the world’s wealthiest—yet.
Global billionaires are still far wealthier than they were at the start of the pandemic, despite a little decline in their wealth over the past year.
According to Oxfam, they have an $11.9 trillion net worth. The amount is still significantly higher than the $8.6 trillion that billionaires had in March 2020, while being down roughly $2 trillion from late 2021.
According to Nabil Ahmed, the head of economic justice for Oxfam America, three developments are helping the wealthy.
Global governments, especially those in wealthier nations, invested trillions of dollars in their economies at the beginning of the pandemic to keep them from collapsing. Stocks and other assets saw a huge increase in value as a result.
According to Ahmed, “so much of that new money went to the ultra-wealthy, who were able to ride this stock market rise, this asset boom.” And there were no safeguards for equitable taxation in place.
Additionally, a lot of businesses have prospered recently. According to Oxfam, 95 food and energy industries saw a more than doubling in profits in 2022 as a result of rising inflation. The majority of this cash was distributed to stockholders.
Inequality is also being exacerbated by longer-term developments such as the erosion of workers’ rights and increased market concentration.
On the other hand, early in the epidemic, worldwide poverty increased significantly.
Despite some progress since then, Oxfam cited World Bank data that indicated that by 2022, poverty reduction was likely to have reached a standstill, in part due to the conflict in Ukraine that increased the cost of food and energy.
According to Oxfam, this is the first time in 25 years that extreme wealth and extreme poverty have increased at the same time.
Tax the rich
Oxfam is urging governments to raise taxes on their wealthiest citizens in order to combat this rising inequality.
It suggests enacting a one-time wealth tax, windfall taxes, and permanently raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% of citizens to at least 60% of their income from labour and capital in order to stop profiteering off of global crises.
According to Oxfam, the top 1%’s tax rates ought to be high enough to severely reduce their population and wealth. After that, the money needs to be divided.
“We absolutely have a severe wealth concentration crisis,” Ahmed stated. “And I believe it’s crucial to realise that it’s not inescapable. Taxing the super-rich is a strategic prerequisite for reducing severe inequality.”
But the group has a steep task ahead of them. During the epidemic, taxes on the wealthy were reduced in 11 nations. Moreover, despite the fact that Democrats held control of both chambers and the White House in 2021, attempts to raise taxes on the wealthy failed in the US Congress.
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