Eight men own the same as world’s poorest 50%


World Economic Forum, cartoon

This cartoon is about the gathering of the world’s rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

From Oxfam today, on the eve of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos:

An economy for the 99%

It’s time to build a human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few

New estimates show that just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world. As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society – especially the poorest – suffers. The very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable and unjust point.

Our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people. Accountable and visionary governments, businesses that work in the interests of workers and producers, a valued environment, women’s rights and a strong system of fair taxation are central to this more human economy.

The sources and methodology behind the headline facts in this paper are explained in the separate methodology note.

The world’s eight richest men are:

Bill Gates (USA), Microsoft co-founder, 70,35 billion euros
Amancio Ortega (Spain), Inditex owner, 62,85 billion euros
Warren Buffett (USA), main owner of Berkshire Hathaway, 57,03 billion euros
Carlos Slim Helu (Mexico), Grupo Carso owner, 46,90 billion euros
Jeff Bezos (USA), Amazon CEO, 42,40 billion euros
Mark Zuckerberg (USA), Facebook co-founder, 41,83 billion euros
Larry Ellison (USA), Oracle co-founder and CEO, 40,90 billion euros
Michael Bloomberg (USA), Bloomberg LP CEO and owner, 37,52 billion euros

Richest and poor

Oxfam: Eight men are as rich as half the world, ‘Obscene’ for so much wealth to be in hands of so few, says charity director Winnie Byanyima: here.

RAMPANT inequality has reached the point where a group of men owning the same wealth as half the planet’s population could squeeze onto a single golf buggy. Eight billionaires now have a combined wealth equivalent to 3.6 billion of the world’s poorest people, according to yesterday’s alarming revelation from Oxfam. The anti-poverty charity is calling for an overhaul of a “warped” economy that allows a small group of people to hoard more wealth than they can spend while billions go hungry: here.

Meet the eight men who have more money than half the world. [HuffPost]

USA: THE D.C. NEIGHBORHOOD THE OBAMAS, IVANKA TRUMP AND JEFF BEZOS PLAN TO CALL HOME We have a feeling neighborhood potlucks may be slightly awkward affairs. [WaPo]

Mark Zuckerberg is suing to force native Hawaiians off their ancestral land to build an island resort. Nathan Wellman | January 19, 2017: here.

A report published in December by University of California at Berkeley economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman reveals unprecedented levels of social inequality in the United States. The report documents an immense redistribution of wealth over a period of several decades from the working class to the rich. The bottom 50 percent’s pre-tax share of national income has fallen from 20 percent in 1970 to 12 percent in 2014, while the income share of the top 1 percent has almost doubled to 20 percent. The wealthiest 1 percent now owns over 37 percent of household wealth, while the bottom 50 percent—roughly 160 million people—owns almost nothing, a mere 0.1 percent: here.

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