The super rich have an opportunity to lift 2 billion people out of poverty


The super rich have an opportunity to lift 2 billion people out of poverty. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

The richest and most influential leaders on the planet have this week kickstarted their annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as a new report by Oxfam indicates startling inequality.

The report shows the world’s richest one percent grabbed nearly two-thirds of all new wealth worth $42 trillion created since 2020, almost twice as much money as the bottom 99 percent of the world’s population

The report shows billionaire wealth surged in 2022, with 95 food and energy corporations having more than doubled their profits last year alone, making $306 billion in profits, and paying out $257 billion (84 percent) of that to their rich shareholders.

A tax of up to only 5.0 percent on the world’s multimillionaires and billionaires could raise $1.7 trillion a year, which is enough to lift two billion people out of poverty.

And therein lies the most puzzling question – what is so hard about doing the right thing and taking care of the vulnerable?

Compared to what the wealthy have, 5.0 percent is negligible. Lifting two billion people out of poverty is a good proposition that the business elite ought to pursue, if not for its morality then for the business case.

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As global wealth inequality continues to expand, efforts by the rich to grow their wealth will neither be feasible nor sustainable in the long run without lifting the world’s poor into the middle-class segment to enhance their purchasing power.

The broadening of the middle class in the global south will be one of the primary forces that will sustain the global economy and propel it into a more sustainable future while creating more wealth.

One hundred million people were recorded to be displaced last year, the highest figure in history.

Eighty percent of the world’s displaced people are in countries affected by acute food insecurity, poverty and malnutrition.

These people will continue to try their best to get to the developed world in search of a better life for as long as the prospects remain grim at home.

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The whole idea behind Davos is to bring together stakeholders all around the world to discuss matters aimed at solving the world’s problems and making a positive impact in the world.

There can be no positive impact where only one party, in this case, the rich, is winning.