Three ways to stop the global economic system working for only rich white men

Stephen McCloskey - 5 February 2019

Women’s unpaid work is worth $10 trillion annually. Amazon's Jeff Bezos’s personal wealth dwarves the health budget of most countries. These facts are linked – and a new report from Oxfam suggests answers.

A new report by Oxfam suggests that a generation of reckless financial deregulation, wealth accumulation by the world’s richest one percent and the rolling back of essential State services has resulted in extreme levels of social and economic polarisation. The report headline is that in the decade since the 2008 global financial crisis the number of billionaires has nearly doubled and their wealth has increased by $900bn in the last year alone, or $2.5bn a day. In the same period, the wealth of the poorest half of humanity, 3.8 billion people, has fallen by 11%. Put another way, this means that just 26 billionaires – down from 43 in 2017 - own the same wealth as the poorest half of humanity. To quantify this wealth in development terms, the report says that Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, has amassed a fortune of $112 billion. Just 1% of this sum equates to the entire health budget of Ethiopia. In summary, rich and poor are becoming increasingly polarised and wealth is concentrating in fewer hands... See more