1% people own more wealth than rest of world: report

1% people own more wealth than rest of world: report

Around 1% people own more wealth than the rest of world’s population, a report on inequality said on Monday.

It noted that the world’s 10 biggest corporations, including Walmart, Shell and Apple, have a “combined revenue greater than that of the 180 ‘poorest’ countries combined”. The list of countries includes Ireland, Indonesia, Israel, Colombia, Greece, South Africa, Iraq and Vietnam.

Emphasising that the global inequality crisis “continues unabated”, the report prepared by Oxfam pointed the finger at the “very design” of the economies for taking people to this “extreme, unsustainable and unjust point”.

The report titled ‘An Economy for the 99%’, puts the blame on large corporations, the super-rich and crony capitalism for the inequality crisis. It said global wealth has reached a “staggering” $225 trillion.

“Since 2015, more than half of this wealth has been in the hands of the richest 1% of people. This year’s data finds that the richest eight individuals collectively have a net wealth of $426 billion, which is the same as the net wealth of the bottom half of humanity,” the report said.

“The 10 most profitable corporations in the US made a collective $226 billion in profit in 2015, or $30 for every person on the planet,” it said.

The report said that while the big corporations were working for the interests of those at the top, they are always looking at ways to dodge tax and other ways to increase profit for their shareholders.

Highlighting how the growing wage gap is increasing income inequality, the report said many chief executives, who are often paid in shares, have seen their incomes skyrocket, even as wages for ordinary workers and producers have “barely increased”, and in some cases have even “got worse”.

To buttress this point, it said the CEO of India’s top information firm “earns 416 times the salary of a typical employee”.

“In developed economies, greater wage inequality has been the single-most important driver of income inequality, while among countries where inequality has fallen, the trend was frequently driven by strong growth in real wages at the bottom,” it said. The report said women remain worse off as they are at the bottom half of the income distribution.

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