85 Richest People Have More Money Than Poorest 3.5 Billion People
A new Oxfam report has found that the richest 85 people in the world have as much money as the poorest 50 percent of the global population (roughly 3.5 billion). How much money? Over $1.6 trillion.
In total, the top 1 percent around the world have a net worth of a cool $110 trillion. That’s 65 times more money than the poorest 50 percent of the world.
Oxfam notes that this is a clear result of “power grabbing.” Not only do rich people have a lot of resources to make more money but they also wield massive influence over politicians hungry for campaign funding. This allows the uber-rich to force the hand of those in power to create legislation aimed at helping them get even richer. Legislation that usually has a negative effect on the poorest population.
In the past year, 210 people have become billionaires. The number of billionaires around the world has now grown to 1,426 people. The report notes that “This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems. Instead of moving forward together, people are increasingly separated by economic and political power, inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown.”
The redistribution of wealth into the hands of the richest is perhaps best seen in India where the number of billionaires has increased from six to 61 over the last 10 years. That reallocated $250 billion into the hands of several dozen people in a country with more than 1.2 billion residents. That’s 26 percent of the entire nation’s wealth that has been moved into the deep pockets of a few elites.
How did these people become billionaires? By preying on access to scarce resources which, the report notes, is “made available exclusively through government permissions and therefore susceptible to corruption by powerful actors, as opposed to creation of wealth.”