Tallahassee Journal

Richest 1% may own half of global wealth by 2016

Richest 1% may own half of global wealth by 2016

The combined wealth of the world’s richest 1 percent could overtake that of the other 99 percent by 2016, according to a report by Oxfam published Monday, as billionaires, politicians and business leaders gather in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum.101938164-104511048.530x298

In a study called “Wealth: Having it all and wanting more.” the international charity warned that a sharp rise in inequality was holding back the fight against global poverty at a time when 1 in 9 people do not have enough to eat and more than a billion people live on less than $1.25 a day.

“Do we really wan to live in a world where the 1 percent own more than the rest of us combined? The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast,” Oxfam’s Byanyima said in a statement. “In the past 12 months we have seen world leaders from President (Barack) Obama to (International Monetary Fund Managing Director) Christine Lagarde talk more about tackling extreme inequality but we are still waiting for many of them to walk the walk.”

Measures that Oxfam is calling for to tackle inequality include a clamp down on tax dodging by firms and wealthy individuals, and investment in free, universal public services such as health and education. “Sadly, there are still billions of people who live in poor countries with dysfunctional economies,” Ryan Bourne, head of public policy at the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs, said in a statement following the publication of Oxfam’s report.

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