According to an Oxfam analysis, 80% of world’s wealth is now held by the planets richest 1%. In other words, 42 people in the super-rich club own as much as the world’s less fortunate 3.7 billion.
Oxfam’s CEO Mark Goldring said that it must be something “very wrong with a global economy” that enables 1% of the global population to have a combined fortune that matches the wealth of the world’s poorest half (i.e. 3.7 billion people).
Goldring warned that the concentration of fortune into the hands of a select few is not a sign of a healthy economy. Oxfam is urging lawmakers to reshape the policies and business models that have led to this disaster.
The income gap between the super-rich and the poor will grow wider if the policies prioritizing investors’ financial well-being won’t be changed in due time. However, it is unlikely for any changes to come soon enough as corporations have a strong influence on policy-making.
Workers’ Rights Need to Be Improved Worldwide
What’s more, workers’ rights have been constantly eroded over the last decades, while companies laid off millions of people in a race to trim costs and maximize shareholder returns.
From 2006 through 2015, billionaires’ combined wealth climbed 13% every year, which marks a six-fold increase than the pace at which the wages of workers have climbed. To put things into perspective, Oxfam noted that the CEO of one of the planet’s top five largest fashion retailers earns in four days as much as a worker in Bangladesh would earn in their entire lifetime.
Oxfam also warned that women are still underpaid when compared to men, and the world will need 217 years to close that gap worldwide. The think tank advocates for a “living wage” for workers and decent labor conditions even if it means less cash for the super-rich.
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