Eight billionaires ‘as rich as world’s poorest half’

LAST UPDATED: 16 Jan, 2017 @ 10:47
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Ortega
Spain’s Amancio Ortega

THE eight richest people in the world have as much wealth as the 3.6 billion poorest, a new study has suggested.

The report by Oxfam, which some critics have queried, comes from improved data, which the charity says shows the gap between rich and poor is ‘far greater than feared’.

The new data shows that the poorest have less wealth than previously thought, particularly in India and China.

The charity has now called for an overhaul of a ‘warped’ economy that allows one in nine people to go hungry.

Oxfam GB chief executive Mark Goldring said: “This year’s snapshot of inequality is clearer, more accurate and more shocking than ever before.

“It is beyond grotesque that a group of men who could easily fit in a single golf buggy own more than the poorest half of humanity.

“While one in nine people on the planet will go to bed hungry tonight, a small handful of billionaires have so much wealth they would need several lifetimes to spend it.”

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

The report comes ahead of the high-profile World Economic Forum in Davos, which critics say is little more than a talking shop for the rich and powerful.

Oxfam says leaders need to improve international cooperation to put an end to tax dodging, and encourage companies to act for the benefit of staff, not just their shareholders.

They also argue that the wealthy should be taxed more to fund healthcare, education and job creation.

The eight billionaires named in the report are Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has a personal fortune of $75bn according to Forbes; Inditex founder Amancio Ortega ($67bn), veteran investor Warren Buffett ($60.8bn) Mexico’s Carlos Slim ($50bn), Amazon boss Jeff Bezos ($45.2bn), Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ($44.6bn), Oracle’s Larry Ellison ($43.6bn) and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg ($40bn).

Many have given billions to charity throughout their careers.

 

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  1. We humans really do love to live life in illusion. Money isnt real, we only make it so. In the end of the day you cannot eat money, drink money or shelter with money. These statistics and charts are only there to propagate capitalism further. How much is all that paper money worth when the planet is destroyed and all water and air is poisoned in the name of profit?

    If we want change we need to change our paradigm and move toward a resource based economy with no monetary system. Where automated process using technology will operate a sustainable living distributing resources for all living beings instead of constant fighting over it.

    • Sounds dangerously like Communism Lex. Of course money is an illusion, nevertheless, our faith in it’s reality, gives it power and energy which can be used for the common good.
      Pity human nature gets in the way.

  2. Lex, wrong on one point – central banks don’t bother to print money any more they create it electronically, it does’nt actually exist. If you actually hold any fiat currencies then at least when the international Ponzi scheme does collapse you can use each piece just once for a bodily function, so small bills will have a far better real value than high denominations – Weimar Republic – items of stable value.

    A lot of people decided to buy gold which is held in secure vaults, trouble is more gold has been sold than exists when they try to take physical control of their investment they will find it has the same reality as the electronic fiat currencies. Those who bought gold at well below today’s market price would do well to go and get it and keep it at home, they will be the real winners when the scam collapses, just don’t tell anyone. When the fiat currencies collapse, gold could easily go to $5K p.o .

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