Wealth inequality continues to grow: the world’s 85 richest individuals now own as much, as the poorest half of the global population, according to a report released by Oxfam. The report calls on governments to target international tax dodgers and invest in public institutions like healthcare, and to implement progressive taxes and eradicate opaque political structures that encourage corruption. According to the report, 210 people have become billionaires within the past year, joining a select group of 1,426 individuals who have a combined net worth upwards of $5.4 trillion. The combined wealth of the richest one percent of people in the world now amounts to over $110 trillion.
“This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems,… Instead of moving forward together, people are increasingly separated by economic and political power, inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown,” the report stated.
Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations that work in approximately 90 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. The non-profit organization believes that there are many laws and regulations which are designed to benefit the rich, according to various polls conducted across the world.
“A survey in six countries (Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa, the UK and the U.S.) showed that a majority of people believe that laws are skewed in favor of the rich,” the report stated.
Individuals are always gaining new wealth, and losing that which they had, so it isn’t always the exact same individuals who are going to be grouped into the top percent of those with the most wealth. Also, the report fails to consider the ease or difficulty for which those within poverty can raise themselves out of it within a reasonable amount of time. Oxfam recognizes that economic conditions prevent many individuals from realizing their goals or potential, the conditions make the endeavor all the more difficult. At the same time: the endeavor is not impossible.
Regulations and other government infringements commonly prevent those who attempt to raise themselves up out of their humble economic conditions, and in a way hold citizens in a permanent, and continually worsening, poverty-stricken underclass. Large corporations certainly don’t help by putting profit ahead of allother issues. Economic conditions have increasingly worsened so much for the middle class that they are in many places barely distinguishable from the poor.