South Africa remains the most unequal country in the world with the two richest South Africans (Johann Rupert and Nicky Oppenheimer, according to Forbes) having wealth equal to the poorest 50 percent (I.e. 26.5-million people) of the country, according to an Oxfam global inequality report.
According to another study published by Oxfam just 1 percent of the world’s population controls nearly half of the planet’s wealth.
The study says this tiny slice of humanity controls $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people.
“Oxfam is concerned that, left unchecked, the effects are potentially immutable, and will lead to ‘opportunity capture’ — in which the lowest tax rates, the best education, and the best healthcare are claimed by the children of the rich,” the relief agency writes. “This creates dynamic and mutually reinforcing cycles of advantage that are transmitted across generations.”
In other words, Oxfam says that if trends continue, the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer.
“[People] are increasingly separated by economic and political power, inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown,” the report says.
Click here to read “Even it Up”, Oxfam’s report on extreme inequality or here to read another Oxfam report on inequality entitled “Working for the Few”.