Wealth inequality is getting worse, not better, according to a new report from charity Oxfam.
The richest 42 people in the world hold as much wealth as the 3.7 billion poorest people in the world combined as the benefits of economic growth "continue to concentrate in fewer hands."
More people became billionaires in 2017 than at any other time in history, as a new person became a billionaire every two days. There are now more than 2,000 billionaires worldwide and nine out of 10 of them are men.
The pro-business crowd tends to justify such numbers by saying that the wealth is earned thanks to talent, effort and risk-taking. However, Oxfam's research suggests that about two-thirds of billionaire wealth is the product of "inheritance, monopoly and cronyism."
While economic inequality is growing, Oxfam did report that between 1990 and 2010 the number of people living in extreme poverty (i.e. on less than $1.90 per day) was halved. Despite that progress, people who escape extreme poverty still tend to be very poor.
"Temporary, precarious work is the norm in developing countries, and is on the rise in rich nations. Temporary employees have lower wages, fewer rights and less access to social protection. Women and young people are more likely to be in these jobs," according to Oxfam.
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