Half the world’s wealth owned by 8 people; Oxfam report

The world’s eight richest people own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the globe, according to a report published by Oxfam on Monday.

According to the report, released just hours before world and business leaders meet at 2017’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the gap between rich and poor is far wider than had been previously detailed.

“We have an economic system that is warped out of shape which means that the 1% benefit. That it’s designed to benefit the 1% rather than the 99%, which is why you could get the number of billionaires that have the same wealth as half of the rest of the world on one golf buggy,” Oxfam’s Director of Campaigns and Policy, Matthew Spencer told Reuters.

The report titled, “An Economy for the Ninety Nine Percent”, details how the world’s poorest people lose out in the global economy.

Oxfam say that economic inequality and a feeling of exclusion from the benefits of globalization contributed to the political upheaval of 2016, including Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s presidential victory in the U.S.

“I think that there is strong evidence that those ruptures in our political system are in part to do with growing inequality. People are feeling less involved in the success of their nation and society and more and more dissatisfied with the status quo,” Spencer said.

The charity is calling on leaders at Davos to tackle tax avoidance and to increase levels of taxation to create a “more human economy”.

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