Oxfam: Richest 1% to Own Half the World’s Wealth by 2016

Washington, D.C.  The richest 1 percent of people in the world will have a majority of the wealth on the planet next year, according to development nonprofit Oxfam.

The most-affluent’s share of global wealth climbed to 48 percent in 2014, compared with 44 percent in 2009, and will likely pass 50 percent in 2016.

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The report was released Monday ahead of the annual World Economic Forum meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland.

Oxfam warned that the ‘”explosion in inequality”‘ is holding back the fight against global poverty at a time when one in nine people do not have enough to eat and more than a billion people still live on less than $1.25 a day.

The report said the 80 wealthiest people in the world own $1.9 trillion, nearly the same amount shared by the 3.5 billion people at the bottom half of the world’s income scale.

The international agency’s executive director Winnie Byanyima, who will co-chair the Davos event, plans to use her position at the meeting to call for urgent action to stem this rising tide of inequality.

In order to curb extreme inequality, Oxfam is calling upon states to tackle tax evasion, improve public services, tax capital rather than labor, and introduce living minimum wages, among other measures.

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