Oxfam America, a global organization dedicated to closing the gap between the rich and the poor, has released a report titled “An Economy for the 1%” which shows that 62 persons own as much wealth as half the 7.6 billion people on Earth, a development that shows the gap between the rich and the poor is ever widening.
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The Oxfam report was published and presented on January 17 at the yearly meeting of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos. The report points out that the average wealth of half the people in the world has declined by $1 trillion or 41% since 2010 till date while the wealth of the richest 62 people in the world has increased by almost $1 trillion to reach $1.76 trillion.
“Power and privilege are being used to rig the system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest of us to levels we have not seen before. Far from trickling down, income and wealth are instead being pulled upwards at an alarming rate,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “While such extreme inequality is bad for all of us, it’s the poorest among us who suffer the grimmest consequences.”
It is true that many top world leaders had been harping on closing the gap between the rich and the poor and balancing the problem of social inequality, but little has been done to significantly see this happen. And while Oxfam last year predicted that the 1% rich persons in the world would own a combined wealth that is more than those of half of the world, it came true before last year ended.
Oxfam researchers believe tax havens contribute significantly to the inequality problem and undermine the efforts of global leaders to arrest global poverty.
“Tax havens are at the core of a global system that allows large corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid paying their fair share, depriving governments, rich and poor, of the resources they need to provide vital public services and tackle rising inequality,” Offenheiser stated.
Speakers at the World Economic Forum in 2015 revealed that about $7.6 trillion wealth of people worldwide is offshore, and that $190 billion will be generated annually if tax is paid on the income generated by this offshore wealth.
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To this extent, practice of dodging tax payments by multinational companies in poor nations is depriving those nations of about $100 billion every year – Oxfam researchers said.