The 62 Richest individuals in the world hold as much wealth as the rest of the population, according to Oxfam.
The wealth of the poorest 50% dropped by 41% between 2010 and 2015, while the wealth of the richest 62 people increased by $500bn to $1.76 trillion in the same period.
By 2020, the number of billionaires in the world will fit in a small shuttle bus.
The poorest 50% owns just 0.7% of the global wealth, while the richest 51% holds the remaining 99.3%.
Tax havens are key for the 62 billionaires to hide their money and avoid paying taxes on their wealth. These people also manage to ‘invest’ their money in charities in order to avoid being taxed by any government.
By now we know that wealth is poorly distributed, but we did not know exactly how the system had been rigged to keep it that way.
The 62 richest people in the world today have “exactly the same as the poorer half of the world population,” says a study by Oxfam.
The truth is that wealth is more concentrated than ever before. A year ago, the world had a total of 80 billionaires, a number that has declined to 62 in 2016.
“We live in a world whose rules are made for the super-rich,” explains Tobias Hauschild, from Oxfam Germany.
In fact, “one percent of the world population has more than the rest of the world as a whole,” said Oxfam. The report is based on data from the “Wealth Report 2015”, which was produced by the bank Credit Suisse.
In other words, the assets of 70 million super-rich is greater than the other approximately 7 billion people on Earth.
Oxfam’s report documents the increase in social inequality almost everywhere.
According to the authors, some causes are totally inadequate implementation of big capital and earnings tax as well as the continued transfer of profits to tax havens.
Only in the last five years, the assets of the 62 richest people, including 53 men, increased by 44% to 1.61 billion euros.
At the same time, the whole of the poorest half of the population assets decreased by around one billion euros.
The decrease of 41% in wealth for the poorest, took place in the same period the world population increased by 400 million people, says the humanitarian organization in its report on social development. The report is always presented on the eve of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where precisely the richest of the rich meet to define world economic police for the next year.
“The capital of the richest grew by 44% while the poorest half lost 41% of wealth.”
Oxfam called on the approximately 2,500 politicians, business leaders and scientists from over 100 countries who will gather in Davos from 20 to 23 January, to use their influence to ensure that the gap between rich and poor is reduced instead of widening.
The fact that the rules are made to favor the super-rich makes it harder to fight poverty and disease. “What is needed is an economic and financial system that benefits all.” says Hauschild. According to Oxfam, the ideal system should prevent “large companies to shirk their responsibility.” Nine out of ten large companies have branches in at least a tax haven, the study says.
Oxfam demands that taxes are paid only in the country where they are obtained. In addition, the responsibility of politicians is to end tax havens, which allow the super rich to hide their capitals.
In order to create a just international tax system it is needed, according to Oxfam, to force companies to publicly report on profits made and taxes paid on their countries of operation.
In addition, the humanitarian organization says States must end “ruinous competition practices that allow companies to obtain the lowest tax rates”. They should disclose all their tax incentives.