Eight billionaires own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who form the poorest half of the world’s population, reveals an Oxfam report published last week. Oxfam made it a campaign launched at the same time as as global political and business elites gather in Davos for their annual meeting. The simple ratio of the numbers immediately went viral. The accompanying video embedded above is less known.
Oxfam is calling for a fundamental change in the way we manage our economies so that they work for everyone, not just a privileged few. The report is published amid increasing concerns about the economic status quo, with the Bank of England’s Chief Economist warning recently that a ‘rebirth of economics’ is needed to replace out-dated models.
Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB Chief Executive:
This year’s snapshot of inequality is clearer, more accurate and more shocking than ever before. It is beyond grotesque that a group of men who could easily fit in a single golf buggy own more than the poorest half of humanity.
While one in nine people on the planet will go to bed hungry tonight a small handful of billionaires have so much wealth they would need several lifetimes to spend it. The fact that a super-rich elite are able to prosper at the expense of the rest of us at home and overseas shows how warped our economy has become.
Inequality is not only keeping millions of people trapped in poverty, it is fracturing our societies and poisoning our politics. It’s just not right that top executives take home massive bonuses while workers’ wages are stagnating or that multinationals and millionaires dodge taxes while public services are being cut.
The call to action for this campaign is a request to sign a letter demanding building an economy that works for everyone, not just the few.