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Richest 85 = wealth of 3.5B poorest

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, January 27, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

The combined wealth of the 85 richest people in the world is equal to that of 3.5 billion people -- or half the global population -- according to a report by Oxfam.

Click on the graphic to enlarge.

Click on the graphic to enlarge.

The report states, "The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world."

Among the report's other findings, it notes that 70 percent of the world's population reside in countries where income inequality has risen since the 1980s and 1 percent of families in the world own nearly half, 46 percent, of the world's wealth, or $110 trillion.

The report was published in time for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where one of the most pressing topics has been global income inequality and its repercussions for economic health. Oxfam is asking the government to take action to reverse what it sees as a troubling trend of the growing influence of the rich on public policy and tax reform.

Oxfam conducted polls in six countries, including the U.S., Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa and the United Kingdom, that show a majority of respondents believe laws are enacted to favor the wealthy.

"Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations," the report says. "We will soon live in a world where equality of opportunity is just a dream. In too many countries economic growth already amounts to little more than a 'winner takes all' windfall for the richest."

Read Bankrate's analysis of the widening income gap in the U.S.

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John Stanek
April 10, 2014 at 8:25 am

The world always had poor people. Some of them thru no fault of their own and others who just do not have the ability . Those that attained riches ,for the most of them did thru education ,hard work and just lucky to strike on the right idea. Many of the so called poor are not ,or can not field the work that other can do. These people are illiterate ,lazy, or just want what the next person has without giving up and Saving, working hard and finding the right idea. They will always complain they have a right to share the wealth. Yes but just don't sit and cry about it do something like work for it. The old saying gives ,you get nothing from nothing. If they choose that way ,so be it and don't complain for your own ineptness . Many of the really poor people do not complain like those who think something is owed to them.

Regular Guy
February 03, 2014 at 8:55 pm

This insane inference that poor people are poor because the rich have stolen their money is being leveraged by those bent on redistribution as a means to bolster the nanny state's choke hold on government by a lazy populace willing to sell their vote for entitlements.

February 03, 2014 at 10:37 am

Extending unemployment for those that work and paid in the system and increases minimum wage causes billions of dollars that is why it cannot be extended. Of course not those billions has to go to politicans, corporate welfare and and other special interest groups pockets.

February 02, 2014 at 11:54 pm

The writer of this article is probably working for a very wealthy company....

February 02, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Is there an emoticon for "shoulder shrug"?

February 02, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Revolution is exactly what the administration wants so he can declare marshall law and strip us of our freedoms ... Please be rational and do not revolt....

February 02, 2014 at 11:42 pm

These folks provide jobs at their own risk/expense ... The President is among the richest in the U S ... he claims to create jobs using mine and your money via stimulus .... he and the Vice President gave little to charities...he has no problem using your money....

Barack Obama
February 02, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Big Deal!

Dumbest Headline of all time! In order to think that one has anything to do with the other you must believe that there is but a limited amount of money available in the world. Do you think that because there is a richest 85 that there must be poor because of it? So someone else is poor because you collect a pay check? Someone lives below the poverty level because you save your money and invest wisely.

First you must answer why are 3.5 billion poor in the world. subtract those that live under a dictatorship, because they will never have an opportunity to EVER improve. Second you must subtract all of those that live under a communist regime because by design if you are born poor you are not allowed to ever climb out of that. Then subtract all of those in which there are NO educational capabilities, except for the warlords of course.

Now, would like the to know the wealth of the top governments in the world, you remember those, they told us that they need to increase the amount of money that they took from our paycheck to take care of the world's poor .... makes you wonder what they did with the money, then again, have you ever seen a poor politician ... ME NEITHER !!

james amirian
February 02, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Revolution is around the corner!