World First Trillionaire in 10 Years? Oxfam Blames Pandemic for Widening Wealth Gap

World First Trillionaire in 10 Years? Oxfam Blames Pandemic for Widening Wealth Gap

Oxfam International, the anti-poverty organization, has issued a stark warning that the world might witness its first trillionaire within the next decade. The annual assessment of global inequalities, coinciding with the gathering of political and business elites in Davos, Switzerland, points to an alarming surge in the wealth gap, intensified by the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Oxfam, the fortunes of the five wealthiest individuals—Elon Musk of Tesla, Bernard Arnault and family of LVMH, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Larry Ellison of Oracle, and Warren Buffett—have seen an unprecedented 114% increase in real terms since 2020. This surge highlights a concerning trend, with the top five billionaires doubling their wealth while nearly 5 billion people face increased poverty.

Amitabh Behar, Oxfam’s interim executive director, emphasized the gravity of the situation during an interview in Davos, stating that the world is heading into a “decade of division.” Oxfam predicts the emergence of a trillionaire within the next ten years, a stark contrast to the struggle against poverty, which the organization believes would take more than two centuries to address adequately.

Oxfam Blames Pandemic for Widening Wealth Gap

The report underscores the current richest individual, Elon Musk, whose wealth stands at just under $250 billion. In contrast, approximately 5 billion people have experienced increased poverty since the pandemic, particularly in developing nations lacking the financial resources to support their populations during lockdowns.

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The impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has further exacerbated the situation, leading to a disproportionate rise in energy and food costs, particularly affecting the world’s poorest nations. As Brazil hosts this year’s Group of 20 summit, Oxfam urges a heightened awareness of global inequalities, with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva prioritizing issues concerning the developing world.

Oxfam advocates for an “inequality-busting” agenda, including the permanent taxation of the wealthiest individuals worldwide, more effective taxation of major corporations, and a renewed effort against tax avoidance. The report’s calculation of the top five billionaires, based on Forbes figures as of November 2023, revealed a total wealth of $869 billion, marking a significant increase from $340 billion in March 2020—a nominal surge of 155%.

In contrast, data from the UBS Global Wealth Report 2023 and the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2019, using the same methodology, highlights the plight of the bottom 60% of the global population, further emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive action to address this alarming wealth disparity.

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Ahmed Hassan

Ahmed Hassan, a distinguished Ph.D. holder in Political Science from Stanford University, is your go-to expert for in-depth political analysis. His well-researched articles provide valuable insights into the complex world of politics. Ahmed's commitment to balanced reporting and informed commentary ensures you're always up-to-date with the latest developments in the political landscape.

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