Top 1% of world’s wealthiest will soon be richer than the other 99% put together

The wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world's population, according to a study by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.

The charity's research shows that the share of the world's wealth owned by the richest 1% increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% last year.

On current trends, Oxfam says it expects the wealthiest 1% to own more than 50% of the world's wealth by 2016.

The research coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The annual gathering attracts top political and business leaders from around the world.

Oxfam's executive director Winnie Byanyima, who will co-chair the Davos event, said she would use the charity's high-profile role at the forum to demand urgent action to narrow the gap between rich and poor.

In a statement ahead of the gathering, Ms Byanyima said the scale of global inequality was "simply staggering". Continue reading the main story

Global wealth (
Source: Oxfam, Credit Suisse)
48% owned by richest 1% in 2014
54% owned by richest 1% by 2020 $1.9tn wealth of 80 top billionaires - equal to bottom 50% of rest of world
$600bn increase in wealth for 80 top billionaires in 4 years - or 50% rise
$750bn drop in wealth for the poorest 50% of the world in 4 years

"It is time our leaders took on the powerful vested interests that stand in the way of a fairer and more prosperous world.

"Business as usual for the elite isn't a cost-free option - failure to tackle inequality will set the fight against poverty back decades. The poor are hurt twice by rising inequality - they get a smaller share of the economic pie and because extreme inequality hurts growth, there is less pie to be shared around," she added. Figures in focus

Oxfam based its prediction on data from the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth datebook, which gives the distribution of global wealth going back to 2000. It uses the value of an individual's financial and non-financial assets, mainly property and land, minus their debts to determine what individuals "own".

The data excludes wages or income.

And while the rest of us struggle and suffer under the guise of austerity; we have 
the proportion of wealth held by the wealthiest 1% rising year-on-year, and the rich getting richer, while the rest of us are getting poorer for it....

Oxfam is calling on governments to adopt a seven-point plan to tackle inequality, including a clampdown on tax evasion by companies and the move towards a living wage for all workers.

Oxfam made headlines at Davos last year with the revelation that the 85 richest people on the planet have the same wealth as the poorest 50% (3.5 billion people).

It said that that comparison had now become even more stark, with the 80 richest people having the same wealth as the poorest 50%. 
To be clear, Oxfam's claim today that by 2016 the richest 1% could own as much or the same as the bottom 99% is not wildly implausible.

There are all sorts of reasons why such increases in inequality are troubling, and not just for those at the bottom of the income and wealth pyramid.

One is that aspirational people on lower incomes have massive incentives to take on too-great debts to support their living standards - which exacerbates the propensity of the economy to swing from boom to financial-crisis bust.

Another is that the poor in aggregate spend more than the rich (there are only so many motor cars and yachts a billionaire can own, so much of the super-rich's wealth sits idle. as it were), and therefore growth tends to be faster when income is more evenly distributed.

The charity said the research, published on Monday, showed that 52% of global wealth not owned by the richest 1% is owned by those in the richest 20%.

The remaining population accounts for just 5.5% of global wealth, and their average wealth was $3,851 (£2,544) per adult in 2014, Oxfam found.

That compares with an average wealth of $2.7m per adult for the elite 1%.

The study comes just a day before US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, in which he is expected to call for tax increases on the wealthy to help the middle class.

In October, a report from banking giant Credit Suisse also said that the richest 1% of people own nearly half of the world's wealth.

Nothing will ever change until we have honest politicians with integrity, ones who are not for sale - coupled with a progressive taxation policy - the more you earn, the more you pay - if you don't want to pay as much in taxes, then simply pay your co-workers & employees more...
This Bullshit about trickle down economics does not work or wash any longer; If it was true, then we would all be a hell of a lot better off - instead, people are working for the 1%, and not getting paid enough, so they have to borrow money from the 1% in order to survive, on a cycle of debt - akin to modern day slavery, and while the 1% consolidate their position & get richer; the 99% get further & further into poverty...
The system is no longer sustainable; the 99% are hurting and we need a change...

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