Billionaires richer men, poorer women


According to the Oxfam report, the wealthiest have doubled their fortunes during the pandemic. 252 men own more wealth than the one billion women and girls in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean combined.

“In 19 months of pandemic the fortune of billionaires in the world has increased more than during the last decade” is one of the main data of the latest report from Oxfam International., the NGO which fights against the poverty. Entitled “Inequality kills” this 2022 report, revealed at the world economic summit in Davos, is dizzying.

On the one hand, the world’s 10 richest men have seen their overall wealth double during the pandemic, following a surge in stock and real estate prices. And since the beginning of the epidemic, the world has had a new billionaire every 26 hours.

On the other hand, economic inequality has reduced the incomes of 99% of the world’s population and an additional 163 million people have fallen below the poverty line. Oxfam predicts that by 2030, 3.3 billion people will live on less than $5.50 a day. The NGO believes that inequalities contribute to death “of at least 21,000 people a day” in the world. These deaths are due to lack of access to health care, gender-based violence, hunger and the climate crisis.

Women constitute the bulk of the battalions of the poorest: 252 men today share more wealth than the billion girls and women living in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean combined. says the report.

And in France ?

In France, the fortunes of billionaires jumped from 86% during the crisis and the five richest have doubled their fortunes since the start of the pandemic. They alone own as much as the poorest 40%. Bernard Arnault, CEO of the luxury group LVMH, for example, saw his fortune drop from 67 billion euros in March 2020 to 163 billion last October.

On the other hand, 7 million people need food aid, ie more than 10% of the French population. And 4 million additional people are in a vulnerable situation because of the crisis. Many women, among these precarious workers, who have seen their situation deteriorate even further.

“Rising economic, racial and gender inequalities, as well as inequalities between countries, are fragmenting our world” denounces the NGO which adds that this unprecedented enrichment of the richest: “is not the result of chance, but of deliberate political decisions: ‘economic violence’ takes place when structural policy choices are made for the richest and most powerful people. »

Review taxation

The NGO recommends progressive taxation” and public health systems that are free for all. “A windfall tax of 99% on the pandemic income of the ten richest men would produce enough vaccines for the world, provide universal social and medical protection, fund climate adaptation and reduce climate-related violence. gender in eighty countries”, she calculated… And even so, these men would see their fortunes increased by “8 billion more than before the pandemic”.

Oxfam France also sharply criticizes Emmanuel Macron’s policy, and ” calls for a radical change in fiscal policy”. On the menu : “ ISF renovated with a surcharge for the most polluting heritages, a reform of the taxation of inheritance, or even a fairer and more feminist income tax. The NGO refers on this point to its “Fiscal, fair, green and feminist manifesto” for presidential candidates. It proposes 15 reforms “ which would make it possible to release at least 65 billion additional euros per year, without increasing the contribution of the working classes or the lower middle classes” Among these reforms, a “feminist taxation” should introduce the individualization of income tax to tackling the taxation of support payments.

We are still very far from it in the candidates’ programs…

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