Billionaire Wealth Soars As Millions Become Poorer: Oxfam
As the deadly COVID-19 pandemic has raged on, the world’s richest have only got richer, while tens of millions of people have plunged into poverty, Sarah Ruiz Grossman reported for HuffPost.
Photo Insert: Jeff Bezos speaking at the opening of the Amazon Spheres in Seattle
Oxfam detailed how the wealth of billionaires increased more than ever before over the past two years: The 10 richest people in the world — all white men — more than doubled their wealth, from a collective $700 billion to $1.5 trillion.
From March 2020 to November 2021, a new billionaire was created every 26 hours, according to the report. Meanwhile, the organization estimated that over 160 million people have been pushed into poverty in that time.
“One of the single most powerful tools we have to address this level of egregious and deadly inequality is to tax the rich,” Abby Maxman, president of Oxfam America, said.
“Instead of lining the pockets of the ultra-wealthy, we should be investing billions of dollars into our economy, our children, and our planet, paving the way for a more equal and sustainable future.”
Oxfam’s report estimates that the 252 richest men now hold more wealth than the 1 billion women and girls living in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean combined.
During the pandemic, women were especially economically hard-hit because many work in industries with disproportionate job losses; others were forced to leave work to care for children and elders. Women collectively lost $800 billion in earnings in 2020, and there are 13 million fewer women in the workforce now than in 2019.