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An economy for the 1% - How privilege and power in the economy drive extreme inequality and how this can be stopped
Author: Oxfam, Published on: 18 January 2016
The global inequality crisis is reaching new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest. A global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled...Oxfam has calculated that: • In 2015, just 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6 billion people – the bottom half of humanity. This figure is down from 388 individuals as recently as 2010. • The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 44% in the five years since 2010 – that's an increase of more than half a trillion dollars ($542bn), to $1.76 trillion. • Meanwhile, the wealth of the bottom half fell by just over a trillion dollars in the same period – a drop of 41%...The gender pay gap was also found to be higher in more unequal societies. It is worth noting that 53 of the world’s richest 62 people are men...Tax avoidance by the owners of capital, and governments reducing taxes on capital gains have further added to these returns...firms and individuals often use their power and position to capture economic gain for themselves...Oxfam analysed 200 companies...and has found that 9 out of 10 companies analysed have a presence in at least one tax haven...Companies working in oil, gas and other extractive industries are using their economic power in many different ways to secure their dominant position...Inequality is also compounded by the power of companies to use monopoly and intellectual property to skew the market in their favour, forcing out competitors and driving up prices for ordinary people.