Crunching numbers on the latest Oxfam report

Peter Whiteford asks: Do 8 men really control the same wealth as the poorest half of the global population?

After some dissection of the methodology, the answer is basically yes. If the numbers are crunched slightly differently, so that debt is not counted against assets, then

the wealth of the bottom 50 per cent rises from around US$400 billion to US$1.5 trillion. This means the wealth of the bottom half is roughly equal to the richest 56 individuals in the world.

While this figure is not as dramatic as focusing only on the richest eight people, it still shows enormous disparities in wealth.

Whiteford crunches a few more numbers in the article, but it still seems to support Oxfam’s claims as based on valid data. Most of the arguments against the Oxfam figures are asking us to look at all these molehills and ignore those few stupendously ginormous mountains.



Categories: economics, language, media, social justice

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