The Oxfam International 2014 economic report, based on analysis of data published by the World Economic Forum, has returned some interesting findings:

  • Wealthy elites have co-opted political power to rig the rules of the economic game, undermining democracy and creating a world where the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world's population.
  • In the last 25 years wealth has become even more concentrated in the hands of fewer people: so much so that 1% of the world's families own almost half (46%) of the world's wealth.
  • Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 of the 30 countries for which data are available, meaning that in most places the rich not only have more money but also pay less tax on it.

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Oxfam in the same report shows how extreme inequality is not inevitable, citing examples of policies from around the world which have reduced inequality and developed more representative politics, benefiting both rich and poor. Oxfam is calling on leaders at the 2014 World Economic Forum at Davos to make the commitments needed to counter the growing tide of inequality.

Tags: inequality

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