Annual Income of Richest 100 People Enough to End Global Poverty Four Times Over
Annual Income of Richest 100 People Enough to End Global Poverty Four Times Over
By Oxfam / oxfam.org
Jan 20, 2013

Leaders must aim to bring down global inequality at least to 1990 levels.

An explosion in extreme wealth and income is exacerbating inequality and hindering the world’s ability to tackle poverty, Oxfam warned today in a briefing published ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.

The $240 billion net income in 2012 of the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty history four times over, according Oxfam’s report ‘The cost of inequality: how wealth and income extremes hurt us all.’ It is calling on world leaders to curb today’s income extremes and commit to reducing inequality to at least 1990 levels.

The richest one per cent has increased its income by 60 per cent in the last 20 years with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process.

Oxfam warned that extreme wealth and income is not only unethical it is also economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive.

Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director, Oxfam International, said: “We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true.

“Concentration of resources in the hands of the top one per cent depresses economic activity and makes life harder for everyone else – particularly those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

“In a world where even basic resources such as land and water are increasingly scarce, we cannot afford to concentrate assets in the hands of a few and leave the many to struggle over what’s left.”

Members of the richest one per cent are estimated to use as much as 10,000 times more carbon than the average US citizen.

Oxfam said world leaders should learn from the present-day success of countries such as Brazil which has grown rapidly while reducing inequality – as well as the historical success such as the United States in the 1930s when President Roosevelt’s New Deal helped bring down inequality and tackle vested interests. Roosevelt famously warned that the “political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality.”

New global deal needed

Hobbs said: “We need a global new deal to reverse decades of increasing inequality. As a first step world leaders should formally commit themselves to reducing inequality to the levels seen in 1990.

“From tax havens to weak employment laws, the richest benefit from a global economic system which is rigged in their favour. It is time our leaders reformed the system so that it works in the interests of the whole of humanity rather than a global elite.”

Closing tax havens – which hold as much as $32 trillion or a third of all global wealth – could yield an additional $189bn in additional tax revenues. In addition to a tax haven crackdown, elements of a global new deal could include:

  • a reversal of the trend towards more regressive forms of taxation;
  • a global minimum corporation tax rate;
  • measures to boost wages compared with returns available to capital;
  • increased investment in free public services and safety nets.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:
Jon Slater +44 (0)1865 472249/+44 (0)7876 476403/ jslater@oxfam.org.uk
 

You may also like

Robin Hood Tax campaign

Today's rising food prices will trap millions tomorrow - case studie

Millennium Development Goals

 

4.3 ·
2
Featured Pay Per View Films
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our...
Within Reach (2013)
87 min Within Reach explores one couple's pedal-powered search for a place to call home. Mandy and Ryan gave up their jobs, cars, and traditional houses to 'bike-pack' 6500 miles around the USA seeking sustainable community. Rather than looking in a traditional neighborhood, they...
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years, director Matt Anderson traveled 16,000 miles to document firsthand our modern industrial world and the...
Trending Today


Love Films For Action? Become a Patron!

Our Patreon campaign is now live! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year, and become 100% member supported. A monthly pledge of just $1 -5 dollars per month x a few thousand awesome people will ensure we can continue our work and grow our impact across the world. Click here to join.

Join us on Facebook
Annual Income of Richest 100 People Enough to End Global Poverty Four Times Over