Five Men Doubled Their Fortunes, While Billions Got Poorer

( – Income inequality is something people on both sides of the aisle worry about. Average Americans often feel like they can never get ahead. A new report illustrates how wide the chasm is between the rich and the poor.

On January 15, Oxfam’s Inequality Inc. released a report stating the world’s five richest men—Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Warren Buffet, and Larry Ellison—saw their fortunes more than double in the last three years. The men collectively had $405 billion in 2020 and now have $869 billion. That’s a 114% increase. While they were getting richer, nearly 5 billion people worldwide got poorer, losing a collective $20 billion.

The report found that if the trend continues, then it would take 229 years to eradicate poverty. However, it would only take 10 years to see the world’s first trillionaire emerge. That’s a major divide between wealth and poverty. Additionally, the 148 top corporations around the world made $1.8 trillion in profits. That was 52% up on the 3-year average. The report suggests that creating “a more equal world is possible,” but governments would have to overhaul the private sector.

Of the top 10 world’s biggest corporations, seven of them have a principal shareholder or CEO who is a billionaire. Those companies are worth more than $10 trillion, which is more than the GDPs of all the nations in Latin America and Africa combined.

While the rich are getting richer, the report states people are “working harder and longer hours, often for poverty wages in precarious and unsafe jobs.” Inflation hit the workers hard, and nearly 800 million workers lost a combined $1.5 trillion in just two years. That equals each worker’s wages for 25 days.

Amitabh Behar, the interim executive director of Oxfam International, issued a statement claiming “inequality is no accident.” He said billionaires want to ensure companies “deliver more wealth to them at the expense of everyone else.”

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