It’s truly appalling that only 85 people control more global wealth than the bottom 3.5 BILLION. Here it is again: 85 people own and control more global wealth than half of the global population. That is obscene.
Oxfam, an international confederation of 17 organizations operating in approximately 90 countries to find solutions to poverty and other injustices, reported some staggering results in a recent report.
Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.
The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.
The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.
In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.
While the Oxfam report acknowledges some inequality as necessary to drive progress and growth, extreme inequality undermines democracy. As US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, ‘We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.’
It’s not just that the 1 percent control the majority of the world’s wealth, the widening gap of inequality lends to societal instability. When a few exclude the vast majority from access to quality education and health care, economic and entrepreneurial opportunities, the wheels for generational advantage make it nearly impossible for anyone in the 99 percent to climb up. Oppression and violence replace democracy and stability. And the groundwork is set for horrible things to happen like apartheid, genocide, slavery, and every sort of violence and atrocity known to humankind.
Horrible things are happening everywhere. It’s just a matter of time before more of us are more affected. It is the interrelated structure of reality.