Its a Billionaires Bonanza and as recent report by Oxfam shows the worlds richest 100 people quite dramatically increased their net wealth despite of the recession and all the financial problems which many people are facing.
The report says that in 2012 their combined net income was approximately $240 billion (£150 billion). This would be enough to put an end to extreme poverty for the poorest people on the planet four times over.
The richest top 1% of the world population has seen its income rise by over 60% in the last 20 years. Oxfam say that the people who live in the most extreme poverty had to survive on less than $1.25 (78p) per day.
Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam said, “The concentration of resources in the hands of the top 1% depresses economic activity and makes life harder for everyone else, particularly those at the bottom of the economic ladder”.
The report which is entitled “The cost of inequality : How wealth and income extremes hurt as all”. The UK charity said that many of the efforts to tackle poverty around the world were being hindered by an “explosion in extreme wealth” and went on to say that the extreme wealth of the super rich was “economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive”.
The charity called for a global new deal to reverse decades of inequality.
Some of the key suggestions it has put forward to world leaders meeting at the 2013 Davos summit include :
- Tightening up on and the closure of tax havens around the world.
- A reversal of the trend towards more regressive forms of taxation.
- A global minimum corporation tax rate.
- Increased investment for free public services and safety nets for people who fall out of work or who are ill.
Ms Stocking said “As a first step world leaders should formally commit themselves to reducing inequality to the levels seen in 1990.”
“From tax havens to employment laws, the richest have benefited from a global economic system which is rigged in their favour”
“It is time our leaders reformed the system so it works in the interests of the whole of humanity rather than for a small global elite”.
Although it is doubtful that any real progress will be made for a long time because many of the world leaders work hand in glove with the major corporations which are owned by the richest people in the world. For them to increase taxation and tighten employment laws and close down tax havens would be seen as a negative step and a switch of allegiance to politicians and political parties who will support their aims would follow shortly after. Politicians and leaders often have short terms in power so they are not looking to bite the hand that feeds them.