How rich are the richest ?

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A set of shocking statistics have recently come to light which reveal that the 62 richest people on the planet have as much wealth as half of the world’s population combined.

These 62, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, own more money than the poorer half of the world’s population, or 3.5 billion people, and it’s a figure that’s still falling. As well as leaving everyone feeling like they need to start looking for money to borrow, these findings have much deeper and more serious implications. The report was carried out by Oxfam, a charity whose main aim is to eradicate poverty, and whose Chief Executive Mark Goldring, stated upon release that these findings were ‘unacceptable’.

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This statistic may be shocking, but it is certainly not surprising. A previous Oxfam report from 2010 showed that the 388 richest people owned the same wealth as the poorest 50%. This already saddening number plummeted to just 80 people in 2014, before falling once again to the current figure of 62 in 2015. Whilst Oxfam had previously predicted that the richest 1% would own the same wealth as the poorest 50%, they anticipated that this would occur in 2016. But already this figure equates to just 0.00008%.

So how has this sort of inequality occurred on such a massive scale? The three main factors are as follows: tax dodging being all too common, a lack of investment into public services, and wages that are already too little for the lowest paid, leading many to turn to loans for money to borrow quickly. Many leading figures have called for action to reverse the trend of inequality, and with fears emerging of a global financial crisis there is no better time to do so.

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