Oxfam’s Annual Inequality Report Slams Capitalism?

Oxfam International has said a new report that half of the world’s population received no share of the wealth created globally in the last year.

According to the new report by Oxfam International, 82 percent of the wealth of the world, in the same year, went to the richest one percent.

Oxfam said in its annual inequality report that in 2017, the billionaires of the world increased their wealth by $762 bn.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system. The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors,” Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of Oxfam International said.

Oxfam’s report says the earnings by the global billionaires alone can end global extreme poverty over seven times.

Oxfam’s Byanyima portrayed it as the “symptom of a failing economic system”.

“The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors,” she said on January 19.

According to Oxfam’s Reward Work, Not Wealth report, billionaire wealth has risen by an annual average of 13 percent since 2010 – six times faster than the wages of ordinary workers, which have risen by a yearly average of just 2 percent. The number of billionaires rose at an unprecedented rate of one every two days between March 2016 and March 2017.

Oxfam Logo. Photo: Oxfam International Website
                                  Oxfam Logo. Photo: Oxfam International Website

Oxfam has urged the governments to ensure that economies work for everyone and not just the fortunate few.

“It’s hard to find a political or business leader who doesn’t say they are worried about inequality. It’s even harder to find one who is doing something about it.  Many are actively making things worse by slashing taxes and scrapping labor rights,” said Byanyima.

“People are ready for change. They want to see workers paid a living wage; they want corporations and the super-rich to pay more tax; they want women workers to enjoy the same rights as men; they want a limit on the power and the wealth which sits in the hands of so few. They want action.”

Oxfam, however, has been braced with criticism after its latest inequality report was revealed on 19 January.

Mark Littlewood, the director general at the UK-based Institute of Economic Affairs said, “Demonizing capitalism may be fashionable in the affluent Western world but it ignores the millions of people who have risen out of poverty as a result of free markets.”

“Richer people are already highly taxed people – reducing their wealth beyond a certain point won’t lead to redistribution, it will destroy it to the benefit of no one,” he said.


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