Richest 26 people own same amount of wealth as poorest half of the world

The gap between the super-rich and the rest of the world has never been wider, with 26 people now owning the same amount of wealth as 3.8 billion of the less privileged, global charity Oxfam said in a new report.

The new report, titled “Public Good or Private Wealth,” sheds light on the continued accumulation of wealth by the richest, as well as the reverse trend for the poorest half of the word, which grew some 11 percent poorer last year.

During the same period, the assets of those at the top of the wealth pyramid, the billionaires, have skyrocketed, increasing by $900 billion in 2018, or by a whopping $2.5 billion a day. Between 2017 and 2018, a new billionaire was created every two days, the report says.

In comparison to the previous year, when 43 people owned about the same as the poorer half of the world, in 2018 it took only 26 billionaires to match the wealth of 3.8 billion people.

All in all, the financial world has fully recuperated from the devastating economic crisis of 2008, with the number of billionaires having nearly doubled since then, the report says.

Oxfam published its annual report on Monday, ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, known as an invitation-only club of super rich and powerful, notorious for lavish parties occasionally thrown by the attendees.

The charity argued that the only feasible way to tackle soaring inequality is to raise taxes for the rich. It says that increasing the tax burden on the top one percent by just half a percent would cover educational costs for 262 million children and provide healthcare to save the lives of 3.3 million people.

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