We all know how the old adage goes: “the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.”
According to a new report by Oxfam, it’s very true.
The damaging effects of the pandemic financially upended many middle and lower class households but conversely, the report points out that world’s richest have only got richer.
Billionaire wealth had a significant uptick over the past two years and the 10 richest people in the world — all white men, Huffpost points out — more than doubled their wealth, from a collective $700 billion to $1.5 trillion.
From March 2020 to November 2021, a new billionaire was created every 26 hours, while at the same time more than 160 million people have been pushed into poverty.
“One of the single most powerful tools we have to address this level of egregious and deadly inequality is to tax the rich,” Abby Maxman, president of Oxfam America, said in a news release. “Instead of lining the pockets of the ultra-wealthy, we should be investing billions of dollars into our economy, our children and our planet, paving the way for a more equal and sustainable future.”
The report also highlighted how BIPOC disproportionately work in service industries at higher rates than whites and have faced significant job loss. This is interesting because during the pandemic, these workers were deemed “essential” in ensuring others stayed home during work on the front lines as others stayed safely home.
“There is no shortage of money… There is only a shortage of courage and imagination needed to break free from the failed, deadly straitjacket of extreme neoliberalism,” Oxfam International’s executive director Gabriela Bucher said in a news release. “Governments would be wise to listen to the movements — the young climate strikers, Black Lives Matter activists, #NiUnaMenos feminists, Indian farmers and others — who are demanding justice and equality.”