World’s Richest 1% Grabbed Almost Two-Thirds of All New Wealth Over Last Two Years

World’s Richest 1% Grabbed Almost Two-Thirds of All New Wealth Over Last Two Years

The world’s richest 1% grabbed nearly two-thirds of all new wealth worth $42 trillion created since 2020, almost twice as much money as the bottom 99 percent of the world’s population, reveals a new Oxfam report today.

“Survival of the Richest” is published on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Including those due to attend are European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

According to the report, billionaire fortunes are increasing by $2.7 billion a day even as at least 1.7 billion workers now live in countries where inflation is outpacing wages.

A tax of up to 5 percent on the world’s multi-millionaires and billionaires could raise $1.7 trillion a year, enough to lift 2 billion people out of poverty.

‘While ordinary people are making daily sacrifices on essentials like food, the super-rich have outdone even their wildest dreams. Just two years in, this decade is shaping up to be the best yet for billionaires —a roaring ‘20s boom for the world’s richest,’ said Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International.

‘Taxing the super-rich and big corporations is the door out of today’s overlapping crises. It’s time we demolish the convenient myth that tax cuts for the richest result in their wealth somehow ‘trickling down’ to everyone else. Forty years of tax cuts for the super-rich have shown that a rising tide doesn’t lift all ships —just the superyachts.’

Billionaires have seen extraordinary increases in their wealth. During the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis years since 2020, a billionaire gained roughly $1.7 million for every $1 of new global wealth earned by a person in the bottom 90 percent. Billionaire fortunes have increased by $2.7 billion a day. This comes on top of a decade of historic gains —the number and wealth of billionaires having doubled over the last ten years.

Oxfam is calling for a systemic and wide-ranging increase in taxation of the super-rich to claw back crisis gains driven by public money and profiteering.

The report outlines that Elon Musk, one of the world’s richest men, paid a ‘true tax rate’ of about 3% between 2014 and 2018. Meanwhile, Aber Christine, a flour vendor in Uganda, makes $80 a month and pays a tax rate of 40%.

Image by World Economic Forum/Via Creative Commons/  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

Antoinette Tyrrell is a writer and journalist who started her career in print and broadcast journalism in Ireland. An English and History graduate of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, she worked for 11 years in corporate public relations for Irish Government bodies in the Foreign Direct Investment and Energy sectors.

She is the founder of GoWrite, a business writing and public relations consultancy. Her work has appeared in a range of national and international media and trade publications. She is also a traditionally published novelist of commercial fiction.

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