Wealth inequality is one of the biggest dangers in the world. It deprives valuable resources from many impoverished communities and hordes it among an “elite” group that can’t possibly spend it all in a dozen lifetimes. So that translates as poor healthcare, crumbling infrastructure, and widespread ecological devastation while a small handful of bratty billionaire kids do weird Instagram trends.
A new report by the charitable organization Oxfam has found that just 26 people hold the wealth equivalent to the combined holdings of 3.8 billion poorest people. The report was released just ahead of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, which is a gathering place for the wealthiest people, and is meant to draw attention to the income disparity.
The study found that many of the most prominent billionaires resided in America, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft's Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. According to Forbes, they own about $357 billion bucks between them.
From CNN Business:
Oxfam recommends that nations tax wealth at fairer levels, raise rates on personal income and corporate taxes and eliminate tax avoidance by companies and the super-rich. It also advocates providing universal free health care, education and other public services — andensuring that women and girls also benefit. And it suggests investing in public services — including water, electricity and childcare — to free up women's time and limit the number of unpaid hours they work.
"In many countries, a decent education or quality healthcare has become a luxury only the rich can afford," Oxfam said. "Every day, 10,000 people die because they lack access to affordable healthcare."
The impact is disproportionately felt by women. "Girls are pulled out of school first when the money isn't available to pay fees, and women clock up hours of unpaid work looking after sick relatives when healthcare systems fail," the organization said, estimating that "if all the unpaid care work carried out by women across the globe was done by a single company, it would have an annual turnover of $10 trillion."
Makes you want to buy a guillotine, doesn’t it? In the meantime, watch the video below for a infographic-friendly take on these facts.