Crises make billionaires even richer

Crises make billionaires even richer

01/17/2023 05:00 (act. 01/17/2023 10:17)

According to Oxfam, corporations and the super-rich are the winners of crises.

According to Oxfam, corporations and the super-rich are the winners of crises. © (subject)

According to the organization Oxfam, billionaires became even richer as a result of the significant increase in food and energy prices last year.

Ahead of the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, development organization Oxfam warned emphatically about rising inequality in the world. For the first time in 25 years, extreme wealth and extreme poverty increased at the same time.

“While millions of people don’t know how to pay for food and energy, the crises of our time are bringing huge wealth gains to billionaires,” said Oxfam spokesman Manuel Schmitt.

Oxfam: Corporations and the super-rich are the winners of the crisis

According to the anti-capitalist organization’s report at the annual WEF conference in Davos, 95 food and energy companies around the world more than doubled their profits in 2022. Thus, they reached 306 billion US dollars (283 billion euros) in random prizes and distributed 257 billion US dollars (84 percent) of which to shareholders. Oxfam defines wins here as random wins if they exceed the average for the years 2018-2021 by 10% or more.

The bottom line is that corporations and the super-rich are the winners of the corona pandemic and energy crisis, noted Oxfam. The richest 1% of the world’s population has collected about two-thirds of the growth in global wealth since the onset of the corona pandemic. The trend is even clearer in Germany: 81% of the wealth growth generated in Germany in 2020 and 2021 was attributed to the richest 1% of the population.

Total assets up $2.7 billion daily

The combined wealth of all billionaires has increased by an average of US$2.7 billion per day since 2020. For every US$1 per capita in wealth acquired by the poorest 90% of the world’s population, a billionaire has earned an average of US$1.7 million.

At the same time, according to Oxfam, at least 1.7 billion workers live in countries where inflation is higher than wage growth. About every tenth person on Earth is starving.

Higher taxes on the rich demanded

Oxfam is calling for higher taxes on the rich as a way out of the crisis. Decades of tax cuts for the rich and for businesses have recently exacerbated inequality. In some countries, the poorest have higher taxes than billionaires. According to Oxfam, only 4% of the world’s tax revenue comes from wealth taxes. “Corporations and their super-rich principal owners must finally make their fair contribution to the common good,” demanded Schmitt.