Oxfam reports finds 85 richest people hold as much wealth as poorest half of world

By Kyle Johnson,

A recently released Oxfam report says that the richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion people combined.

The report found that the "global elite" hold a combined wealth of $110 trillion, with the top 85 people holding as much wealth as the poorest at $1.7 trillion, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Oxfam director Winnie Byanyima said, "It is staggering that in the 21st century, half of the world's population own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all sit comfortably in a single train carriage."

According to The Guardian, Oxfam says that the wealth inequality is a "power grab" by the richest 1 percent through politics. Since the 1970s, taxes have dropped for the richest in all but one country out of 30 where information is available.

The group has asked the World Economic Forum attendees to pledge that they will help the wealth disparity by not using political favors or finding loopholes around paying taxes.

Byanyima said, "Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations. We will soon live in a world where equality of opportunity is just a dream."

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