Thursday, June 13, 2024

World’s Wealth Divide: Oxfam Reveals Shocking Doubling of Top 5 Billionaires’ Fortunes Since 2020

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In a jarring revelation, Oxfam’s latest report, ‘Inequality Inc.,’ exposes an unprecedented surge in wealth for the world’s five richest individuals, soaring from $405 billion to $869 billion since 2020.

This alarming rate translates to a staggering $14 million per hour, while nearly five billion people face increased poverty.

Oxfam Reveals: Alarming Corporate Power

The report launched amidst the gathering of business elites in Davos, Switzerland, paints a grim picture of corporate influence. Shockingly, seven out of 10 of the world’s largest corporations are led by billionaires, boasting a combined net worth of $10.2 trillion — surpassing the GDPs of entire African and Latin American nations.

Oxfam Reveals

Oxfam International’s interim Executive Director, Amitabh Behar, remarks on the concerning trend, stating, “We’re witnessing the beginnings of a decade of division, with billions of people shouldering the economic shockwaves of pandemic, inflation, and war, while billionaires’ fortunes boom. This inequality is no accident; the billionaire class is ensuring corporations deliver more wealth to them at the expense of everyone else.”

The report emphasizes that the world is on track to produce its first trillionaire within a decade. However, eradicating poverty remains a distant prospect, projected to take another 229 years if current trends persist.

Corporate Profits Soar

Highlighting the impact of unchecked corporate power, the report notes that large firms are set to break profit records in 2023. The top 148 corporations recorded $1.8 trillion in total net profits, a staggering 52% increase compared to the period from 2018 to 2021. Strikingly, for every $100 of profit, $82 goes to wealthy shareholders.

The report exposes the disproportionate ownership of wealth, revealing that despite representing only 21% of the global population, rich countries in the Global North own 69% of global wealth and house 74% of the world’s billionaire wealth.

Urgent Call for Government Action

Oxfam calls for urgent government intervention to address the widening wealth gap. Recommendations include revitalizing the state to ensure universal healthcare and education, reining in corporate power by breaking up monopolies, legislating for living wages, and reinventing business models to prioritize equality.

“Public power can rein in runaway corporate power and inequality — shaping the market to be fairer and free from billionaire control. Governments must intervene to break up monopolies, empower workers, tax massive corporate profits, and invest in a new era of public goods and services,” adds Amitabh Behar.

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