The world’s five richest men have seen their fortunes skyrocket to $869 billion since 2020, more than doubling in just two years.
This stark statistic, unveiled by Oxfam as global elites convene at Davos, stands in stark contrast to the plight of the poorest: 4.77 billion people have lost wealth.
The charity’s report paints a troubling picture of widening inequality. Not only are corporations raking in record profits, but their CEOs often belong to the billionaire class, with seven out of ten major companies now boasting a billionaire at the helm.
Oxfam urges governments to intervene, calling for measures like breaking up monopolies, taxing excess profits and wealth, and exploring alternative ownership models like employee participation. They note that while corporations talk about “stakeholder capitalism”, the reality is a relentless focus on shareholder returns, squeezing workers and neglecting broader societal needs.
This year’s Davos summit, advocating for a more inclusive system, rings hollow in the face of such stark data. Millions of workers face shrinking wages due to inflation, losing on average 25 days of income over the past two years. Only a measly 0.4% of large corporations even commit to paying a living wage.