A new Oxfam report released on Monday states that the 62 richest billionaires now own as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population. That's correct: 62 individuals have as much wealth as half the people on Earth. The kind of wealth that lets people own sports teams. It's so much wealth that in some cases, the richest person in a country could conceivably alleviate poverty in much of their nation.
The discrepancy is getting worse, too. During the past five years, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The top 62 saw their net worth rise by more than half a trillion dollars, while the 3.6 billion people in the bottom half of the heap lost a trillion dollars.
Oxfam's aim is to find solutions to end poverty, and their report was published to coincide with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week. Oxfam hopes that the disparity between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of the world can be remedied in part by cracking down on tax havens, promoting living wages for workers, and increasing investment in public services. Hopefully those requests can be heard from a fancy chateau in Switzerland.