There are only 2,153 billionaires on Earth and they hold more wealth as a group than a combined 4.5 billion people on the planet. That’s according to a recent report from Oxfam International. Titled “Time to Care,” the report focuses on unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis, and reveals some startling information about wealth distribution on our planet.
no one “earns” a billion dollars, no one can work a billion times harder than anyone else. there is no good, no ethical, no righteous billionaire. that kind of wealth can only be manifested through the exploitation of the working class. no exceptions.— Alexis Isabel (@lexi4prez) January 20, 2020
According to the report, nearly half the world is surviving on $5.50 per day or less and no amount of saving will get you to billionaire status.
No one makes a billion dollars. You TAKE a billion dollars. You take it from your workers (Hi, Jeff, Jim, and Alice!). You plunder it from the environment (What up, Charles & David?). You strip it using patents/protections (Lookin' at you, Bill.) https://t.co/cRSdtXoNUD— Stephanie Kelton (@StephanieKelton) January 22, 2019
The report also focuses on how gender plays a part in wealth inequality and takes unpaid or underpaid care work into consideration.
Overall, men own 50 percent more wealth than women, and the combined wealth of the 22 richest men on Earth is more than the wealth of all the women in Africa.
#BreakingNews World's 2,153 billionaires are richer than 4.6billion people with 22 men holding more wealth than ALL the women in Africa. Their vast wealth comes largely at the expense of women & girls who contribute some 12.5billion hours of care work each day without being paid.— Dave Vescio (@DaveVescio) January 20, 2020
The report also notes how “care work” is a vital field that needs to have support: “Care work is crucial to our societies and to the economy. It includes looking after children, elderly people, and those with physical and mental illnesses and disabilities, as well as daily domestic work like cooking, cleaning, washing, mending, and fetching water and firewood. Without someone investing time, effort and resources in these essential daily tasks, communities, workplaces, and whole economies would grind to a halt.”
Care work, however, is often done by women and is exploited, unpaid or severely underpaid. For example, only 10 percent of domestic workers are covered by labor laws, while only 50 percent are paid minimum wage.
In order to see change for exploited communities, the study recommends investing in national care systems and introducing progressive taxation that taxes the wealthy.
“This has to change,” the report says. “Governments around the world must act now to build a human economy that is feminist and values what truly matters to society, rather than fueling an endless pursuit of profit and wealth.”