Oxfam has recently published a research report outlining how “global wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small wealthy elite”. According to the research, 85 billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population.
By Amy Neve, Socialist Party
This has been made possible due to both their investment in key sectors such as finance, insurance and pharmaceuticals and through their pressure on governments to maintain policies that protect and enhance their profitability such as low tax rates.
Oxfam is calling for a rethink of tax policies and for a clamp down on the tax evasion of the rich as one way of reducing the widening gap between rich and poor. If current trends continue, this wealth disparity is likely to increase from the richest 1% currently owning 48% to them owning 54% of global wealth by 2020.
With this sort of stark inequality on the rise and decreasing resources to be shared by the vast majority of the population, the need for systemic change will only grow. A socialist system, where wealth is distributed equally and the entire population’s interests are protected would eliminate this sort of wealth inequality and prevent its re-emergence.