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The Oxfam was timed to coincide with the start of the upcoming Davos World Economic Forum, an annual gathering in the Swiss city of influential policymakers to discuss issues that affect the global economy.
The group’s research shows the share of wealth owned by the richest one per cent has increased from 44 per cent six years ago in 2009 to 48 per cent last year. And the uneven distribution doesn’t just spike at the very end — the top 20 per cent are still doing well for themselves.
Although people tend to assume the cut-off to be included in the one per cent would be a gargantuan amount of money, the reality is quite different: the average wealth of the “one percenters” is $ 2.7 million.
“Do we really want to live in a world where the one per cent own more than the rest of us combined?” Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s executive director, said in a statement. “The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering, and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast.”
The group says a few simple policies could help tip the scales back towards a more equitable solution. They include investing in things like universal health care and education for everyone, ensuring global standards for child and elder care, and closing the wage cap between men and women.
‘Do we really want to live in a world where the one per cent own more than the rest of us combined?’– Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s executive director
The health-care and financial services industries spent almost $ 900 million to lobby the U.S. government for favourable legislation in 2013, and more than $ 200 million was spent on lobbying in the EU, Oxfam said.