Eight people on the planet hold as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, a situation that is “indecent” that “exacerbates inequality,” laments the british NGO Oxfam in a report published in upstream at the World Economic Forum (WEF), which opened on Tuesday in Davos. “It is indecent that so much wealth is concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority, when we know that one person in ten of the world lives on less than $ 2 a day,” says the spokesperson for Oxfam France, Manon Aubry, quoted in the press release.
The report, titled “An economy that serves the 99%”, reveals how large companies and the richest exacerbate inequalities, by exploiting an economic system that is failing, evading taxes, lowering wages and maximizing the profits of the shareholders”. According to the NGO, at this pace, the first “super-billionaire” in the world “could see his heritage exceed one thousand billion dollars in 25 years”. To spend this amount, it would “cost a million dollars per day during 2.738 years,” she says.
For its study, Oxfam is is based on the list of the eight richest individuals in the ranking of the magazine Forbes. It is in the order of the American Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft, whose wealth is estimated at $ 75 billion), ahead of Spaniard Amancio Ortega (Inditex), Warren Buffet (the CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway), the Mexican Carlos Slim (Grupo Carso), Jeff Bezos (founder and CEO of Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (CEO and co-founder of Facebook), Larry Ellison (co-founder and CEO of Oracle) and Michael Bloomberg (founder and CEO of Bloomberg LP).
“downward Pressure on wages everywhere in the world”
Oxfam, which has taken the habit to draw attention to the growing inequalities on the occasion of the WEF, which will be held until Saturday in Davos, denounced “the pressure on wages everywhere in the world”, as well as tax breaks that benefit businesses and / or the use of tax havens. “Companies optimise their benefits, including minimizing their tax burden, thus depriving States of the resources essential to finance the policies and services necessary to reduce inequality,” the report says.
The NGO, which is based on “new more precise data on the distribution of wealth in the world”, calls on governments to react and to move towards an economy more centred on the human. “When the politicians will stop being obsessed with GDP and will focus on the best interest of all their citizens, and not only an elite, a better future will be possible for all,” says Aubry.
France does not escape the criticisms of Oxfam. According to the study, 21 billionaires owned as much as 40% of the poorest of the French population in 2016. Last year, Oxfam had already denounced that cultural heritage is a cumulative 1% richest of the world had exceeded in 2015 one of the 99% remaining with a year ahead of schedule.