NEW YORK —
Global capitalism, we have a problem.
We've long known that life isn't fair and that the world's wealth is unevenly distributed. But the latest factoid from Oxfam on global poverty and inequality is breathtaking. In a new report, the nonprofit reports that just 85 people - the richest of the world's rich - hold as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion. That's half the world's population.
In other words, the top 0.00000001 percent are worth as much as the bottom 50 percent combined. The top 1 percent, meanwhile, control nearly half the world's wealth, or 65 times as much as the world's less-fortunate half.
On a country-by-country basis, the filthy rich have only been getting richer. Between 1980 and 2012, the wealthiest 1 percent increased their share of the spoils in 24 of the 26 countries Oxfam surveyed. This includes the United States, where the wealthiest 1 percent have captured 95 percent of all economic growth since the financial crisis of 2009, while the bottom 90 percent have gotten poorer.
Oxfam's concern is not just that half the world's population could be bought and sold by a group of individuals who could fit in a single large boardroom. It's that this staggering disparity creates a vicious cycle. From the nonprofit's report:
Oxfam is concerned that, left unchecked, the effects are potentially immutable, and will lead to "opportunity capture" - in which the lowest tax rates, the best education, and the best healthcare are claimed by the children of the rich. This creates dynamic and mutually reinforcing cycles of advantage that are transmitted across generations.
Good luck, you half of the world's people who hold less than 1 percent of its wealth. May the odds be ever in your favor!
NEW YORK —
Global capitalism, we have a problem.
- Community News Network
First Apple, now Google hit with kids' app lawsuit
Last month, 4- and 5-year-old brothers in New York quickly spent $65.95 in real money to buy virtual goods in Marvel's Run Jump Splash game on the family tablet. They were able to rack up the charges without entering a password. And for that, the boys' mother has joined a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday against Google, accusing the company of deceiving consumers about its in-app purchase system, which critics say makes it too easy for kids to spend money on their Android devices.
VIDEO: First month of Colorado pot legalization brought in $2M in tax revenue
The first month of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado brought in about $2 million in tax revenue, the first indicator of the earning potential of the U.S.’s premier legal pot market.
VIDEO: NHL game postponed after player collapses
Monday's game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Dallas Stars was postponed after Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench shortly after completing a shift in the first period.
VIDEO: Family rescued from ferocious feline
A family in Portland, Ore., called 911 after their pet cat scratched their son and "went over the edge," forcing them to take refuge in a bedroom.
In this tech age, how can a plane go missing?
Call 911 from the side of the road, and GPS satellites can tell dispatchers exactly where to send help. Airline passengers have access to detailed maps that show exactly where they are during their journey. Hop onto WiFi, and somehow Google knows whether you're logging on from Lima or London, and will give you detailed suggestions about what to eat.
VIDEO: Skydiver, pilot treated after midair collision
A pilot practicing take-offs and landings got tangled up with a skydiver in Polk County, Fla., but amazingly, no one was seriously hurt.
Researchers tackle mystery of how some snakes can fly
Flying snakes sound like creatures from a bad B-movie, but these serpents are elegant gliders that have evolved a special skill that sets them apart. In two new studies, engineers have used simulations to try to decipher how the wingless reptile manages to remain airborne despite its lack of flight appendages.
Holder: Heroin deaths an 'urgent and growing public health crisis'
Attorney General Eric Holder, calling the rise in deaths from overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers an "urgent and growing public health crisis," is outlining a series of efforts by the Justice Department to combat the epidemic.
Most deadly fraternity scraps initiation for new members
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the largest U.S. fraternities and the deadliest, said Friday it will ban the initiation of recruits, citing the toll that hazing has taken on its newest members.
VIDEO: Michigan woman's death, mummified body hidden by auto-pay for six years
The mummified body of a Michigan woman was discovered in the backseat of her car approximately six years after her death. The body was only found after the bank that foreclosed on the home ordered work on the property.
- More Community News Network Headlines
- First Apple, now Google hit with kids' app lawsuit