62 people own same as half world – Oxfam 18th Jan 2016 and the aggregation of wealth

In previous posts published here at the welovecarbondioxide blog, I have discussed the takeover of the economy by oligarchs not only in the U.S., but in Europe, and then questioned whether or not we might see this same oligarchic take over of Japan’s economy. There are probably a lot of factors that would indicate that Japan wouldn’t become an oligarchy per se, but there can be no doubt as to how Japan’s corporations have become very powerful since the end of WWII with the same trading families like the Mitsui clan kept in place in Japan’s economy. If you study Japan’s wealthy elite you can see how the economy is coming under the control of fewer and fewer people. The economic system as it is now organized through major banking institutions and corporations guarantees the aggregation of more of the world’s resources into fewer and fewer hands. It makes one wonder what this will eventually lead to in the future as this wealth ends up in private hands? welovecarbondioxide fully supports the idea of ending tax havens for this extremely wealthy elite.

Source: Oxfam

Pre-Davos report shows how 1% now own more than rest of us combined

oligarch wealthRunaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos. This number has fallen dramatically from 388 as recently as 2010 and 80 last year.

An Economy for the 1%, shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population – that’s 3.6 billion people – has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010. This 41 per cent drop has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period. Meanwhile the wealth of the richest 62 has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76tr. Just nine of the ’62’ are women.

Although world leaders have increasingly talked about the need to tackle inequality, the gap between the richest and the rest has widened dramatically in the past 12 months. Oxfam’s prediction – made ahead of last year’s Davos – that the 1% would soon own more than the rest of us by 2016, actually came true in 2015, a year early.

Oxfam is calling for urgent action to tackle the inequality crisis and reverse the dramatic fall in wealth of the poorest half of the world. It is urging world leaders to adopt a three-pronged approach – cracking down on tax dodging, increased investment in public services and action to boost the income of the lowest paid. As a priority, it is calling for an end to the era of tax havens which has seen increasing use of offshore centres by rich individuals and companies to avoid paying their fair share to society. This has denied governments valuable resources needed to tackle poverty and inequality.

It is three years since David Cameron told Davos that he would lead a global effort against aggressive avoidance in the UK and in poor countries, yet promised measures to increase transparency in British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, such as the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands, have not yet been implemented.

Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB Chief Executive, said: “It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all on a single coach.

“World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth. In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake.

“We need to end the era of tax havens which has allowed rich individuals and multinational companies to avoid their responsibilities to society by hiding ever increasing amounts of money offshore.

“Tackling the veil of secrecy surrounding the UK’s network of tax havens would be a big step towards ending extreme inequality. Three years after he made his promise to make tax dodgers ‘wake up and smell the coffee’, it is time for David Cameron to deliver.”

Globally, it is estimated that super-rich individuals have stashed a total of $7.6tr in offshore accounts. If tax were paid on the income that this wealth generates, an extra $190bil would be available to governments every year.

As much as 30 percent of all African financial wealth is estimated to be held offshore, costing an estimated $14billion in lost tax revenues every year. This is enough money to pay for healthcare for mothers and children that could save 4 million children’s lives a year and employ enough teachers to get every African child into school.

Please go to Oxfam to read the entire article.


Further related reading:

US Needs the Highly Successful New Deal, Not Failed Socialism: A Real Program to Attack Income and Asset Inequality and Provide Full Employment and a Rising Standard of Living In The United States; A Challenge To Bernie Sanders From The Tax Wall Street Party