Oxfam pushes global billionaire tax to fix income inequality

Because the begin of the pandemic, the wealthy have discovered methods to proceed getting richer. Forbes‘s latest Billionaires List reveals that the planet’s 10 wealthiest individuals—a gaggle of solely white Western males that features Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Invoice Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffett—have doubled their fortunes since COVID-19’s begin, whereas the World Financial institution estimated that the pandemic pressured 100 million extra individuals into excessive poverty in 2020, “a traditionally unprecedented improve.”

A new report from Oxfam, one of many world’s largest charities, calls these developments “alarming.” Launched as we speak forward of the World Financial Discussion board’s Davos Agenda and easily titled Inequality Kills, it appears at how life in the course of the pandemic has been far much less rosy for the remainder of the world, and blames rich nations’ tax insurance policies as a lot because the more and more wealthier world’s richest individuals:

By not vaccinating the world, governments have allowed the situations for the COVID-19 virus to dangerously mutate. On the identical time, they’ve additionally created the situations for a wholly new variant of billionaire wealth. This variant, the billionaire variant, is profoundly harmful for our world. New figures and evaluation launched in December 2021 by the World Inequality Lab reveal that since 1995, the highest 1% have captured 19 instances extra of global wealth progress than the entire of the underside 50% of humanity. Inequality is now as nice because it was on the pinnacle of Western imperialism within the early twentieth century. The Gilded Age of the late nineteenth Century has been surpassed.


this report wealth accrued by the world’s 10 richest males—which works out to roughly $1.3 billion per day for the pandemic’s first two years—Oxfam proposes a one-time tax be levied on them. Coverage-wise this can be a nonstarter, however it’s largely an mental train so Oxfam could make a much bigger level: The charity suggests a 99% windfall tax on the pandemic wealth positive factors of the world’s 10 richest males. It notes this single tax might cowl the price of vaccinating your entire world—in addition to prolong common healthcare, fund local weather measures, erect correct social security nets, and deal with gender-based violence in additional than 80 international locations—all whereas leaving these 10 males $8 billion richer than they had been pre-pandemic.

Oxfam’s report pulls collectively varied information that has been revealed elsewhere for the reason that begin of the pandemic. Seeing it multi function place, proper earlier than Davos, an occasion usually criticized as a week-long oasis for ultra-wealthy jet-setters, is a bit sobering:

  • At present, a brand new billionaire is minted each 26 hours.
  • In the meantime, inequality contributes, at the very least partly, to the deaths of 21,000 individuals per day—one particular person each 4 seconds. (Oxfam calls this determine “conservative,” noting it’s based mostly on recognized deaths due to components reminiscent of lack of entry to healthcare, starvation, and local weather change.)
  • The richest individuals’s wealth has risen extra throughout COVID than in your entire earlier 14 years, the most important surge in billionaire wealth since data started monitoring it.
  • The pandemic has pushed the estimated date for gender pay parity again, from 99 years to 135 years. Research have proven that in 2020 alone, ladies misplaced $800 billion in earnings, with 13 million fewer working as we speak than in 2019. At current, simply 252 males have extra wealth than the entire ladies and women dwelling in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
  • Lastly, the ten richest males on the earth as we speak personal greater than the poorest 3.1 billion individuals. In the event that they every spent $1 million per day, it will take them 414 years to exhaust their mixed wealth.