A new Oxfam report has highlighted the growing gulf between the rich and poor as it revealed that the world’s top 26 billionaires are richer than half of the world’s poorest people or 3.8billion people. According to the report, Billionaires, who now number a record 2,208, have more wealth than ever before and are growing $2.8billion richer everyday.
Most of these mega-wealthy are American, according to the Forbes list of billionaires used by Oxfam. The names include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who collectively are worth $357 billion, according to Forbes. Oxfam recommends that nations tax wealth at fairer levels, raise rates on personal income and corporate taxes and eliminate tax avoidance by companies and the super-rich. It also advocates providing universal free health care, education and other public services — and ensuring that women and girls also benefit. And it suggests investing in public services — including water, electricity and childcare — to free up women’s time and limit the number of unpaid hours they work.