ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Monstrous Inequality

Oxfam highlights the monstrous inequality produced by global capitalism, but fails to explain it.

The release of the international non-governmental organisation (INGO) Oxfam’s annual reports on economic inequality is invariably timed to coincide with the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum in January at Davos. This year the report is titled “An Economy for the 99%;” last year the heading was “An Economy for the 1%.” This is, after all, the time of the year when the world’s ultra-rich converge on the Swiss resort to “shape global, regional and industry agendas” by engaging with world business and national political leaders to ostensibly improve “the state of the world.”

Oxfam appears to have borrowed its recent report captions from the #OccupyWallStreet movement. “We are the 99%” was the rallying cry of that campaign, calling attention, quite sharply, to the dramatic increase in incomes and net worths of those at the very apex of the economy and the stagnation or decline in the incomes and net worths of the majority. Drawing on the 2016 data from the “Credit Suisse Global Wealth Data Book” and the Forbes list of dollar billionaires, Oxfam’s latest report tells us that the bottom 50% of the world’s population has “just 0.2%” of the world’s “wealth,” and if one sums up the wealth of the world’s top-eight billionaires, six of whom are from the United States (US), these ultra-rich persons together have more wealth than what the bottom 50% of the world’s population owns.

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Updated On : 20th Jan, 2017
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