By Next Year, Richest 1% to Own More Than Other 99%

Oxfam calls for 7-point plan to address inequality
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2015 7:47 AM CST
By Next Year, Richest 1% to Own More Than Other 99%
The rich are getting richer.   (Shutterstock)

The rich really are getting richer—and by 2016, they'll own more than the rest of the world, says a research paper published by anti-poverty charity Oxfam. The paper shows that global wealth owned by the richest 1% jumped from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014, putting this elite group on track to cross the 50% mark by next year, the BBC reports. Those in the top group had an average wealth of $2.7 million per adult last year (the BBC notes that to qualify as part of that group, one needs to be worth about $750,000). Meanwhile, the poorest 80% of the world owned just 5.5% of the world's riches and claimed an average wealth of $3,851 per adult. Oxfam's research backs up a similar 2014 report from Credit Suisse, as per the BBC.

"The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering," Oxfam Executive Director Winnie Byanyima says in a statement. "Do we really want to live in a world where the [1%] own more than the rest of us combined?" Byanyima, who's co-chairing the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this week, will underscore these points by presenting a seven-point plan for governments to narrow the gap in their own countries. Included in Oxfam's plan are calls to get tougher on corporate tax evasion, invest in free public health care and education, and lobby for equal-pay laws to help women get ahead in the workplace. The charity is hoping its report "shines a light" on how the richest of the rich get their money (a good chunk of it's inherited) and how they push for rules regarding money to benefit them. (President Obama is all for free community college.)

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