Wealth of 85 Richest People Equals Half of World’s Population

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Oxfam, the human rights group says that the wealth of the 85 richest people in the world is equal to half of the world population.

The human rights group released a new study Monday on global inequality, prior to the meeting this week of business and government leaders in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum.

The new report says the wealthy elite have used their political might to lower rates of taxes, hide their wealth offshore and to serve what is best for them, to the disadvantage of the lower income populations.

The Oxfam report lists tax havens, tax secrecy, underinvestment or cuts in public services and financial deregulation as examples of the wealthy maneuvering politics.

The report said the effects the policy changes have is not just to concentrate political influence and wealth in the higher income brackets, but to make sure its remain there for the upcoming generation.

Oxfam said over the last decade, the amount of billionaires in the country of India has increased ten times, while austerity measures in Europe affect mainly just the lower and middle classes.

In Africa, worldwide corporations exploit the political power they have to avoid paying taxes, reducing resources for the government to fight against poverty.

Oxfam has called on worldwide government delegates and business leaders at the World Economic Forum for support in government programs set up to strive to help the underserved lower and middle income levels, support the development of fairer wages and cut down on the amount of financial secrecy and tax dodging.

The group called upon the WEF participants to agree to one global goal so that extreme inequality can be ended in every nation.

The difference between the rich and poor is getting wider, with the wealthy earning more and more, and the poor losing more and more making it harder to have just a minimum amount of money to cover costs of food, shelter and education.

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