85 people have more wealth than half of the planet combined

poverty and hunger in the world

Sobering new data from Oxfam reveals just how unjust the global economy really is

According to a new report released by Oxfam, the UK-based social justice organization, the 85 richest people in the world—85—hold more combined wealth than the 3.5 billion poorest people in the world.

That means, roughly, that the life of each person in the elite 85 is considered, on average, of equal value to 41 million people. By way of contrast, a total of 12 million slaves were brought to the Americas from Africa—of which only 5% ended up in the United States.

If we follow the perhaps overstated, perhaps soberingly realistic thought experiment of considering these 3.5 billion global poor to be in a condition of economic slavery to these 85 elite individuals, simply by dint of supporting them with their existence, that means that the entire number of slaves imported from Africa equals only 29.2% of the number of impoverished people economically subservient to just one of these 85 people. 

Via NBC News Business:

The combined wealth of the world’s richest 85 people is now equivalent to that owned by half of the world’s population – or 3.5 billion of the poorest people – according to a new report from Oxfam.

In a report titled “Working for the Few” released Monday, the global aid and development organization detailed the extent of global economic inequality created by the rapidly increasing wealth of the richest, warning of the major risks it poses to “human progress.”

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day, hm?

(For more from Ultraculture: The Two Great Lies)

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Jason Louv Hyperworlds Underworlds
Jason Louv Hyperworlds Underworlds
  • TehGBear

    There needs to be laws limiting the gluttony that greedy people suffer from. No one needs more than, say, 10 million dollars or the equivalent of that in whatever currency they use. Also, we need laws limiting the hording of homes. No one needs to own more than say, 10 homes. The very wealthy use homes to pad their bottom line and often snap up any affordable home that comes on the market before people in the lower income brackets have a chance to buy them. This prevents honest hard working people from owning homes and they end up having to rent. In truth, anyone that can afford to rent should be able to afford to buy, since rent is as a rule equal to or higher than the mortgage payment on any given rental. It is a moral crime to be so greedy and so obsessed with showing off as to be compelled to cause harm to others. The TRUTH is that people in the upper income brackets do not need any more money. The TRUTH is that they have so much already that they do not even experience any change in their life when they get more. The TRUTH is that they could live VERY well on the 10 million dollars, 10 home limits that I recommended. Greed is a disease and honesty is the cure.