Skyline in lower Manhattan.
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Over the past two years, the top 1% of people have accumulated almost two-thirds of all new wealth created in the world, according to a new report from Oxfam.
A total of $42 trillion in new wealth has been created since 2020, with $26 trillion, or 63%, amassed by the top 1% of the ultra-rich, according to the report. The remaining 99% of the world’s population have collected just $16 trillion in new wealth, according to the global poverty charity.
“A billionaire earned about $1.7 million for every dollar of new global wealth earned by someone in the bottom 90%,” said the report, released at the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
This suggests that the rate at which wealth is being created has accelerated, with the world’s richest 1% having amassed about half of all new wealth in the past 10 years.
Oxfam’s report analyzed data on global wealth creation from Credit Suisse, as well as figures from the Forbes Billionaire list and the Forbes Real-Time Billionaire list to assess the evolution of the wealth of the ultra-rich.
The research compares this wealth creation to reports from the World Bank, which said in October 2022 that it was unlikely to meet its goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 because the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed efforts to reduce poverty.
Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International, called for higher taxes for the ultra-rich, saying it was a “strategic precondition for reducing inequality and resurrecting democracy”.
In the report’s press release, she also said changes to tax policies would help tackle ongoing crises around the world.
“Taxing the super-rich and big business is the gateway to today’s overlapping crises. It’s time to bust the practical myth that tax cuts for the wealthiest make their wealth trickle down one way or another over everyone else,” Bucher said.
Coincidental crises in the world that feed into each other and produce greater adversity together than they would separately are also called a “polycrisis”. In recent weeks, researchers, economists and politicians have suggested that the world is currently facing such a crisis as the pressures of the cost of living crisis, climate change and other pressures collide.
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