World’s 5 richest men double their money as poorest get poorer

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The world’s five richest men Jeff Bezos, (from left), Warren Buffett, Bernard Arnault, Larry Ellison, and Elon Musk have doubled their net worth since 2020..

NEW YORK, Jan 15: A recent report by Oxfam reveals a staggering 114% surge in the net worth of the world’s five wealthiest individuals since 2020, now totaling $869 billion after adjusting for inflation. Elon Musk emerged as the biggest gainer, with a remarkable 737% increase to $245.5 billion. The report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, highlighting stark global wealth disparities.

While billionaires accumulate unprecedented wealth, nearly 5 billion people worldwide are grappling with increased poverty due to factors such as inflation, war, and the climate crisis. The report warns that, at the current pace, poverty elimination could take nearly 230 years.

Key findings indicate that billionaires’ wealth has surged by $3.3 trillion, growing three times faster than inflation since 2020. US billionaires, particularly those tied to company equities, have seen a $1.6 trillion increase in wealth. Oxfam emphasizes the disproportionate influence of billionaires, with seven out of ten of the world’s largest public companies having a billionaire CEO or principal shareholder.

Oxfam criticizes profit-driven industries such as oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and finance for reaping higher profits recently. The report highlights the role of monopoly power in exacerbating wealth inequality, urging governments to intervene.

Nabil Ahmed, Oxfam America’s director of economic and racial justice, notes a rising Gilded Age but acknowledges positive trends. Workers are increasingly asserting their rights through strikes and negotiations, and some governments are enacting policies favoring workers.

Oxfam calls for urgent government action to curb corporate power, break up monopolies, empower workers, tax substantial corporate profits, and invest in public goods and services. The report emphasizes the importance of public power in creating a fairer market free from billionaire control.

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