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Global inequality is increasing

New York Teacher

Just 1 percent of the world’s population holds nearly half of all wealth, and their share is growing.

According to a Jan. 19 report released by anti-poverty group Oxfam International, the wealthiest 1 percent’s share of global wealth grew from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014. Eighty percent of the world’s population controls only 5.5 percent of all wealth, the report said.

If the current trend continues, by 2016 the top 1 percent will hold more than 50 percent of the world’s wealth, a greater share than the other 99 percent of humanity.

The report, timed to coincide with the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, also revealed that the world’s 80 richest people own more than the poorest half of the world’s population — 3.5 billion people.

“We want to bring a message from the people in the poorest countries in the world to the forum of the most powerful business and political leaders,” said Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam's executive director. “The message is that rising inequality is dangerous. It’s bad for growth and it’s bad for governance. We see a concentration of wealth capturing power and leaving ordinary people voiceless and their interests uncared for.”

The Guardian, Jan. 19