scorecardBillionaire wealth rose more in 2 years than in the last 23 years combined
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Billionaire wealth rose more in 2 years than in the last 23 years combined

Billionaire wealth rose more in 2 years than in the last 23 years combined
Business3 min read
Representative image    Pixabay
  • The pandemic created 573 new billionaires at the jet rate speed of — one every 30 hours.
  • Every 33 hours, a million crashed into extreme poverty during the pandemic.
  • “The super-rich have rigged the system with impunity for decades and they are now reaping the benefits,” said Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International.
  • In East Africa, one person dies of hunger every minute.
The income of 99% of humans fell because of COVID-19, but the rest 1% is doing much better than ever. The pandemic created 573 new billionaires at the jet rate speed of — one every 30 hours.

On the darker side, a million people crashed into extreme poverty every 33 hours. It’s much expected as 125 million of jobs were lost in 2021.

Trillions of injected cash find their way into the billionaire bank vaults


Richest and the poors
Canva

The total wealth of the world’s billionaires is now almost equal to 13.9% of global GDP — a three-fold jump from a mere 4.4% in 2000.

The report also said that the wealth of billionaires has risen more in the first 24 months of COVID-19 than in the last 23 years combined.

“Billionaires’ fortunes have not increased because they are now smarter or working harder. Workers are working harder, for less pay and in worse conditions. The super-rich have rigged the system with impunity for decades and they are now reaping the benefits,” said Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International.

Most of this wealth increase came from the trillions of dollars that the governments injected into the world economy to tackle the pandemic and avoid an economic collapse. The side effect however was that it dramatically drove up asset prices, and with this the net worth of billionaires and the asset-owning classes.

“They have seized a shocking amount of the world’s wealth as a result of privatization and monopolies, gutting regulation and workers’ rights while stashing their cash in tax havens — all with the complicity of governments,” said Bucher.

Hunger deaths, missing meals and overdue bills await the poor


Hunger missing meals
Pixabay

The income of the poor saw a steep decline of 40% during the pandemic, which was 6.7% lower than the pre-pandemic projections. In fact it is leading to hunger deaths especially in East Africa, where one person dies of hunger every minute.

“Millions are skipping meals, turning off the heating, falling behind on bills and wondering what they can possibly do next to survive. This grotesque inequality is breaking the bonds that hold us together as humanity. It is divisive, corrosive and dangerous,” she added.

According to Oxfam estimates, it would take 112 years for an average person in the bottom 50% to make equivalent to someone in the top 1% makes in a year.

The richest 10 men have greater wealth than the poorest 40% of humanity combined. These billionaires are collectively worth $12.7 trillion – a real-term increase of $3.78 trillion (42%) during the pandemic, the report said.

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