Billionaires Are Growing Fast, And So Is Inequality

We now have more billionaires than ever, and it's a bad thing.


The number of billionaires has doubled since the infamous financial crisis of 2007-08, says a report created by charity organization Oxfam.

Citing Forbes' data, the report points out that there were only 793 billionaires in March 2009, but this small, uber-wealthy community now has 1,645 members.

Such a sharp increase in billionaires – while good for their own self – means that more of the world's wealth is now under the control of a select few. It also shows how the gap between the rich and the poor is widening at an alarming rate.

Titled "Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality," the report also reveals how the 85 wealthiest people of the world saw their collective net worth grow by $668million on a daily basis between the years of 2013 and 2014. This essentially translates into an absurd amount of half a million dollars being earned per minute during this period.

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While most countries boast of its billionaires, Oxfam says billionaires are actually detrimental for the overall growth of a society, as they represent inequality.

"Far from being a driver of economic growth, extreme inequality is a barrier to prosperity for most people on the planet," said Oxfam director Winnie Byanyima."Inequality hinders growth, corrupts politics, stifles opportunity and fuels instability while deepening discrimination, especially against women."

The purpose of Oxfam's report is not to oppose billionaires or amassing of wealth, but it is to highlight to world's leadership that the poor deserve attention too.

"Action is needed to clamp down on tax dodging carried out by multinational corporations and the world's richest individuals," Oxfam added in the report, which is a part of their "Even It Up" campaign, which advocates the rights of the underprivileged.

Their suggested solution to restore some parity between the rich and the poor is to levy an additional 1.5 percent wealth tax on billionaires. The measure, according to Oxfam, would be enough to pay for the education of every child on our planet.

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