Sunday, November 2, 2014
According to a report by Oxfam which warned that inequality between rich and poor is spiraling out of control, the number of dollar billionaires in the world has more than doubled to 1,645 since the financial crisis of 2008.
Despite the austerity affecting ordinary people around the globe in the wake of the recession, the richest 85 billionaires saw their fortunes increase by a total of around $240bn over the past year. Research earlier this year found these 85 people had access to wealth equal to that of half the world’s population.
If the world’s billionaires were taxed at a rate of just 1.5% on their wealth over $1bn, it would raise $74bn a year - enough to get every child into school and deliver health services in all of the world’s poorest countries. The report is titled, Even it Up: Time To End Extreme Inequality.
Oxfam’s chief executive Mark Goldring said: “Inequality is one of the defining problems of our age. In a world where hundreds of millions of people are living without access to clean drinking water and without enough food to feed their families, a small elite have more money than they could spend in several lifetimes. The consequences of extreme inequality are harmful to everyone. It robs millions of people of better life chances and fuels crime, corruption and even violent conflict. Put simply, it is holding back efforts to end poverty."
Oxfam challenged governments to follow a seven-point plan to rein in inequality:
1. Clamp down on tax dodging.
2. Invest in universal free healthcare and education.
3. Introduce equal pay legislation.
4. Agree to a global goal to tackle inequality.
5. Introduce minimum wages and move towards a living wage for all workers.
6. Shift the burden of taxation from labor and consumption towards capital and wealth.
7. Provide adequate safety nets for the poor, including a minimum income guarantee.
While I prefer not to be skeptical..
Do you think we have leaders capable of introducing these ideas?
Meanwhile I hope you like the new illustration. Any suggestions for captions or story ideas are welcome.