Oxfam is once again making headlines on inequality. On the eve of the annual Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the activist global charity released its own annual contribution to the global economic debate: an updated analysis of our planet’s grand divides in income and wealth.
As usual, this year’s Oxfam analysis featured some incredibly vivid stats. The world’s billionaires saw their combined wealth soar by $762 billion in 2017, the new study points out , enough to end global extreme poverty seven times over.
Also as usual, Oxfam’s 2018 analysis includes a list for recommendations for helping the world become a more equal place. In past years, news media accounts on Oxfam’s annual inequality reports have by and large ignored these recommendations. And this year? Unfortunately, the same story.
Staggering Economic Divides
Oxfam’s annual recommendations have neatly catalogued the world’s best egalitarian thinking on what we need to do to narrow our staggering contemporary economic divides. The latest Oxfam inequality-busting proposals continue that tradition.
The 2018 recommendations, for instance, highlight the notion of a global wealth tax on billionaires and urge governments to push policies that promote, within corporations, pay ratios that have top execs making no more than 20 times the pay of their most typical workers.
This year’s Oxfam recommendations explore important new ground on another front as well. The world’s governments, says Oxfam, should set a core egalitarian benchmark for their economies. In no nation, urges Oxfam, should the income share of the top 10 percent run higher than the income share of the bottom 40 percent.
Oxfam didn’t pluck these 10 and 40 percent numbers out of thin air. In nation after nation, researchers have shown over recent years, substantial shifts in income seem to be largely taking place only within the ranks of society’s
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