World Inequality Grows Amid Glut of New Billionaires, Oxfam Says

Cornelia Mascio
Gennaio 22, 2018

The research also showed a mere 10 percent of New Zealanders own more than half the nation's wealth and the inequality gap had widened significantly in the past year.

Meanwhile, the poorest 1.4 million people (30 percent of the population), got barely 1 percent - $1.5b - of all the wealth created in 2017.

The report is being launched as political and business elites gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system", said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International.

Billionaire wealth has risen by an average of 13 per cent a year since 2010 - six times faster than the wages of ordinary workers, which have risen by a yearly average of just 2 per cent. • It takes just four days for a CEO from one of the top five global fashion brands to earn what a Bangladeshi garment worker will earn in her entire lifetime.

New Zealand's richest man Graeme Hart added another $3.1 billion to his fortune in 2017, Oxfam says. New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker is scheduled to attend the gathering, which focuses on global politics, economics and social issues. "Women working in hotels in Canada and the Dominican Republic who stay silent about sexual harassment for fear of losing their jobs", said Le Mesurier. As new wealth is created it continues to be concentrated in the hands of the already extremely wealthy. Women are in the worst work, and nearly all the super-rich are men. This can lead to policies that are geared towards their interests, often at the expense of the majority. In the United States, it takes slightly over one working day for a CEO to earn what an ordinary worker makes in a year.

"They should limit returns to shareholders and top executives, and ensure all workers receive a minimum living wage that would enable them to have a decent quality of life".

"Kiwis love fairness, not inequality", she said.

Le Mesurier believed New Zealand needed to have a national conversation about tax to examine the fairness of the structure.

"It also offers an opportunity for New Zealand to provide an example to many developing countries in using a fairer tax system to reduce the gap". "Oxfam's report includes a strong list of recommendations, backed up by experts, for both governments and multi-nationals that can help us achieve this". Between them, Mr Hart and second-richest man Richard Chandler are wealthier than 1.4 million Kiwis combined. When Oxfam recalculated last year's figures using the latest data we found that 61 people owned the same wealth as half the world in 2016 - and not eight.

Oxfam's 2018 report is the most recent in a series of reports that have analysed economic inequality and its drivers. Each of these reports was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

New data from Credit Suisse reveals that 42 people now own the same wealth as the poorest half of humanity This figure can not be compared to figures from previous years - including the 2016/17 statistic that eight men owned the same wealth as half the world - because it is based on an updated and expanded data set published by Credit Suisse in November 2017.

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