A new report by Oxfam.org shows eight people as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of humanity, which is 3.6 billion people. Oxfam is an organizations that monitors income and wealth inequality throughout the world. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are two of those eight richest people.
The folks at Oxfam have figured out why income and wealth inequality continue to grow. They write,
“The gap between rich and poor is far greater than had previously been estimated, with big business and the super-rich fueling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages, and using their power to influence politics.” They’re really saying political power inequality has caused income and wealth inequality.
This is the golden rule in action; he who has the gold makes the rules. In harsher terms, the rich have used their money to corrupt government at all levels and rig the economic game against everybody else. The game has been rigged in favor of the rich and powerful, and in particular, Wall Street. The big banks have held millions of homes off the market in the US in order to drive prices up, and they’ve been quite successful at it. Meanwhile, the US justice department has turned a blind eye to this conspiracy in restraint of trade, even though it is the US Census Bureau that first reported this.
Oxfam suggest five actions they believe can reduce income and wealth inequality, but in reality, these five are not enough. The five are;
- Stop offshore tax dodging which costs the US and developing countries more than $100 billion each year.
- Raise the minimum wage so that working families can make a living wage.
- Fight discrimination of all kinds and ensure equal pay for equal work.
- Build and invest in a social safety net for everyone.
- Ensure every person has access to affordable, high quality healthcare and education. Click here for the full Oxfam report.