Monday, January 19, 2015

Income inequality worldwide: Bad and getting worse

There is a sobering new report from Oxfam about income inequality worldwide. Some lowlights:
  • The richest 1 percent of the world's population currently controls 48 percent of the world's total wealth.
  • If trends continue, Oxfam predicts that the most affluent will possess more wealth than the remaining 99 percent by 2016.
  • The 80 wealthiest people in the world possess $1.9 trillion, which is almost the same amount shared by some 3.5 billion people at the bottom half of the world's income scale.
  • Thirty-five of the lucky 80 were Americans with a combined wealth of $941 billion. Germany and Russia shared second place, with seven uber-rich individuals apiece.
Although late to the game, Obama is at least attempting to do something about this egregious problem and will announce a plan to extend tax credits to the middle class by hiking taxes on wealthier Americans and big banks during his upcoming state of the union address. It’s a step in the right direction, but we’ll have to wait and see what the dim bulbs in Congress have to say about this.

As bad as things are for the 99 percent here in America, there is one statistic that is perhaps the most shocking and damning of all.

More than 1 billion people worldwide live on less than $1.25 a day.

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