Oxfam warns of inequality: gap between rich and poor is growing fast

Oxfam warns of inequality: gap between rich and poor is growing fast

The development organization Oxfam has 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.

At 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. The significant increase in food and energy prices over the past year has made billionaires even richer.

“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.

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 USD 257 billion (84 percent) of them to shareholders. Oxfam defines wins here as chance wins if they exceed the average for the years 2018 to 2021 by ten per cent or more.

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

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.

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 greater than wage growth. About every tenth person on Earth is starving.

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.

(APA)